Tuesday, August 2, 2011
I had a Barbie doll when I was 6 years old. It was given to me by my best friend. I mean, she was pretty and all, but I was never really a doll person (ironic, seeing as I still sleep with a teddy bear). I was more of a books and movies child. Especially books. One day, I was mad at my mother and proceeded to hit the doll on a glass cabinet. Her head fell off.
I was made to understand at the tender age of 12 that a Barbie is someone who isn't 'ghetto enough' or street smart enough to make the cut. Characteristics of a barbie include:
1. A barbie must live in a certain neighbourhood. Living in these neighbourhoods automatically makes you bourgeoise, whether or not you had anything to do with garnering your parents' (often supposed) wealth.
2. Barbies do not take matatus. They cab. They see matatus, but do not really know what they are, and view them as a quaint prop of 'city life' (they don't live in the city)
3. Barbies do not speak any of the languages outside the UN official languages, which are:
Do you see sheng there? No? Then that's your answer. Swahili? Ati Kamba? Are you serious right now?
There's a bunch of things I've left out, of course, but these are the main identifying factors. If you saw a Barbie in the wild (Westgate/Vima), you would immediately be able to pinpoint the species (Barbiosa habilis).
I get offended when people call me a barbie, regardless of the degree of truth it contains. I don't know if it's because it's (partially) true that I get offended, or because of the way they say it. Like it's a disease. Like I'm the white man who enslaved them for centuries while making them pick cotton. Like obviously the only thing I know how to do is to wait for an inheritance in the back of my chauffeured BMW (I almost wish).
Or maybe it's the labelling. I mean, really, is it necessary? Because more labelling and alienating people and creation of a caste system is REALLY what we need more of in Kenya. Can't I just be...a girl with Barbie-like habits, lol, the way you can be a dude with ghetto tendencies? I don't know why it bothers me. But I will continue to - how do you say? Kasirika? - anyway.
Ghetto characteristics? Hmmmm...