(Our writer asked to remain anonymous)
I live in Belper, which as most people know is a very white area, and you don’t see many different ethnicities round here. It’s crazy really when Derby is literally a 20 minute drive away which has so many different cultures. I don’t have a single friend that isn’t white.
Anyway, growing up wasn’t always sunshine and rainbows. I used to dance when I was 4-10, and I did enjoy it until you realise they don’t make pretty tights in your colour , you can’t have the nice ballet shoes that everyone else has, and during shows you can’t take your hair down.
Doing simple things such as going for a haircut was a nightmare, as hairdressers aren’t required to deal with afro hair. I couldn’t have a wash and cut and blow dry at the salon, my mum would have to wash and blow dry and straighten my hair at home (which took about 2 hours) in order to make it manageable. I’m embarrassed of my natural hair. Bullying was horrendous because of it. Because I wanted to just have my hair down. I got called so many names, I would have a meltdown if I had to have my hair natural for one day. I got people throwing things in my hair, sticking their hands in it, saying it was cool but quite big, never pretty. I always wished i could be one of the “pretty white girls” with their long straight hair & blue eyes. Teachers always telling my friends to “keep away from her, she’ll only drag you down”.
Walking through town is something you should be able to do with ease, but I always keep my wits about me just in case. I shouldn’t have to at 18, especially in this so-called “lovely” town.
Saying thank you or even just smiling at people always confuses me, because I’m always met with a scowl or people put their head down and avoid eye contact with me.
I have people clutch their bags tighter when I walk past.
I say, “good morning” or, “hello” and don’t get anything back.
But when my boyfriend does it he always gets a smile or a response? The same with my friends. In the end I just end up not saying anything, then I get labeled as rude – “you should smile more, what’s wrong with you?”
Dating as a girl is hard enough. Dating as a mixed girl is disgusting. Boys asking you where you’re from, no not the city, where your skin colour is from.
You tell them, and then they go “wow I love me an exotic girl” “I’ve never slept with a foreign girl before” “heard your kind are good at_______”.
I am not a trophy to add to your collection, I am a human being. Please don’t say things like this to any girl of any heritage; it is disgusting and wrong.
I’m lucky that I now have a boyfriend who supports my feelings during this time, and who fully supports my views. I just wanna urge everyone to please please please stop saying “all lives matter.” I know where you’re coming from, but you are belittling the whole movement that is happening right now. All we want is for people to treat us better.