Monday, October 12, 2015

I Owe It To John

John Singleton / Morris Chestnut / Tupac Shakur

Diversity is important for me.
My father is white, from Paris, France. My mother is black from Yaoundé, Cameroon. I grew up with diversity, this is my normality. Difference is my normality. Color is not the main similarity I find in people. My brother, my sisters and I, we don't share the same color with our parents but still, we're their kids, we are like them, we look like them in many ways beyond the color. I don't necessary need for somebody to look like me or to be like me to feel concern or to have empathy. But we also need role models who are physically, socially close to us. In terms of Beauty standards, I do think it is important to have access to diversity as well, we're humans beyond our skin, education and culture, beyond our country and our language. 

Living in Parisian suburb as a teenager, when it came to boys, I realized that I was not having specially crushes on black guys. They were not a lot of them in my school, I was not having many crushes anyway, but still, I was wondering how come? I was having crushes on white people on TV or magazines. I remember I was also finding Bruce Lee very cute. It might sound weird but as a mixed girl, I was kind of concerned about that. How come I was not able to find a black man attractive? By then, we didn't have internet, except Amina, they were no magazines for or about Black women, no BET, nothing. I've seen black actors in movies such as Eddy Murphy or Danny Glover, sure, but sorry, they were all kind of old to me.
And then came John Singleton with "Boyz N The Hood".
Boyz N The Hood! Oh boy! Not only it was a great movie that impacted me a lot, I loved that movie, I've seen it a hundred times. No need to say what's Boyz N The Hood. It was not only because of that motto "Increase the peace" (that I wrote on my notebooks and agendas for years), it was also for those handsome young black actors starring in it. My then best friend (white, green eyed blonde girl) and I, we were head over heel about Ricky aka Morris Chestnut and felt totally heartbroken when he got killed in the movie.
Later, Singleton's came back with Poetic Justice starring TuPac. TuPac, the face behind Thug Life (at last I was discovering his face!). I thought he was soooo handsome! This confirmed that they were nothing wrong with me; I liked any kind of beauties, Black men included. I just didn't had the chance to experience it because of the lack of diversity in the medias I had access to by then.
I owe that discovering to John Singleton's movies.

A few years later, I felt in love for the first time. He was a dark skinned boy. My friend? She's actually married to a black man.
So, yeah, definitely, we need diversity. To learn about the world, Love, Life and Ourselves.

PS : TuPac also got me piercing my nose but, that's another story.

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