The fabulous women of the screen who made me who I am
I grew up in front of the television and for the longest time that influenced the way I saw the world. An influence that can be traced back all the way to my early years at Christian Brothers College – Mount Edmund. Not surprisingly when the boys gathered around the quad during break time in primary school to tell the tales of what happened on TV the night before. All my stories focused on TJ Hooker and the blonde beauties from Dynasty. This in hindsight didn’t help in fitting in well with the cool kids…so a word of caution.
So at this point in my life, having been exposed to higher education and more afro-centric television programming. I would like to take this opportunity to send a shout and a Holla back to all the ladies of the screen that saved me from a possible lifetime of jungle fever. Nothing against the disorder but striking out with a white girl almost all the time seemed to hurt a bit more, cos I figured they never got past the shade of my skin ( incidentally I would later find out that my acne prone complexion was a turn off across all colour lines).
Anyway back to the matter at hand. My first saving grace came after I saw Clueless for the first time, and no it wasn’t in 1999. At this stage of my adolescence California blondes were the only thing on my mind Pamela Anderson, Carmen Electra and Portia de Rossi. I kid you not, these names were not Googled, but they are forever etched into my psyche. Anyway, the only reason for watching the movie was to get a glimpse of Alicia Silverstone in all her glory. I had no clue at the time that watching this movie would irrecoverably change my life forever. The dawning of my love for sisters of a different hue… Stacey Dash!
It didn’t matter at the time that the mere mention of a chick flick would transform the faces of my peers into five-year old being exposed to broccoli. No chick flicks were ever to be mentioned in those surroundings lest you be permanently confined to the moniker of fruit basket…
Even my white friends steered clear of me as soon as mouth began sounding out the word clue…
It become apparent to me then that I would never be able to share the joy that this chocolate brownie had awakened within me.
And yet this did not deter me in any way whatsoever, due partly to my youthful exuberance and my pubescent curiosity being piqued. I decided to find out more having finally had my eyes opened to the deliciousness of chocolate. I inevitably began to notice a new world transmogrify along the one I had so hopelessly been wandering in.
Jada, Halle, Vivica suddenly I was entombed in the bosom of blackberries, and the juice was truly sweet. On the big screen or late night on the small screen I loved it, every fantastic moment.
Black beauties of celluloid you saved my life, or at least you opened me up to everything that I was missing. The women in my life don’t have platinum blonde hair that grows naturally out of their scalp, and don’t don figure hugging red swimsuits while sauntering in slow motion across scorching California beach sand, barefoot.
Today they come with weaves, dreadlocks, chiskops and s-curls. Pierced noses and tattoos scrawled all over their glistening backsides and an unnerving appetite for shoes that borders on the insane. But the beauty and strength I see in their eyes ignites the fire in my loins.
So in this month of Love I would like to wholeheartedly salute the beauty of all women. Without you… hell I don’t even want to consider the thought.