Beautiful Aliens.

Beautiful Aliens.

Mixed Humans ~ Reflections on occupying a space of inbetweenness. Persistently grappling with identity.

Natalie Armitage

“What beautiful daughters you have!”

It happens a lot. It is a compliment, of course it is. I have green eyes, that are pretty big, and light brown skin. My sister, has the richest auburn hair, which in the light gleamed like fire. She has white skin, with pink rosy cheeks. Mum was very dark, before Vitiligo, with jet black indian hair. I remember looking at her skin against my sisters chubby white rosy flesh…she could have been adopted. I remember climbing on my Dads lap and seeing my arms with his. Well I knew he was my Dad for certain, but having my arm next to his and see the contrast of its colour, used to make me wonder, how we could be so close but never know what it feels like to look like the other. We had different sets of skins.

I am light- which contrary to what some awful skin products tell you- is not necessarily beautiful. Society seems to associate one with the other, not me. I was always envious of the Nigerian girl in my class with braids. To me, she was beautiful. She was bright, funny, could dance, sing and shook her beads at the end of her hair that made a wonderful noise and made her so much prettier. Her laugh was infectious too. I used to dream of being black like her. Femininity, seems to ooze from natural afro-carribbean girls.

My Dad, raised me on jazz. We had pictures of black people all over the house as icons. All I really thought at that age is that black people were the most creative beings of the earth. I am still not convinced that is a wrong perception. Dad would say things like “can you imagine, going through all this pain and suffering by society- just for the colour of your skin?”. Stevie Wonder helped him to illustrate to me this point, through lots and lots of music…

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