Thoughts on gender and race and beauty standards in Kenya

It is weird feeling how much I am stared at while walking around Nairobi. Though on Saturday around 10 is my favorite time to be out there are hip kids out and I feel like I am stared at less. This being said I have a few observations: one is that on the condom boxes at the store there were only white woman in semi-erotic poses which it seems weird that there are white woman pictured on these being sold in a african country, it is odd that the were all white, no diversity. Also at the store many of the advertisements for beautify stuff were white woman, even with a brand I have only seen in Kenya, then the advertisements for clothes and such were often either white people or more light skinned africans, I don’t know if I ever saw one with a very dark complexion, maybe one. There were also lots of hair relaxers sold. All of this makes me think a lot about beauty standards and about racial relations and power and the pressure on woman to look a certain way and the sorts. None of the condoms packages had men on them and most of the beauty stuff, even skin care were woman pictured and in commercials. I have definitely read about white washing and the preference of european beauty and african woman not feeling as pretty as a white woman but it was interesting and saddening to see clues of it within an african nation. This has me questioning how one can make a change in such as issue.

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