Have you ever been ashamed of yourself or your looks, criticized for being too skinny or too fat, too light or too darked skinned coz I have and that’s because most of the time society makes us feel like we aren’t enough and need to change how we look. Appearance based discrimination is becoming a real and common thing because women are expected to live up to the parameters of beauty dictated by the society.
For this year’s International Women’s Day, I chose to celebrate a young woman with a unique skin tone(pattern) who is not only beautiful but bold enough to inspire us to embrace ourselves and fight for what we really want starting with changing some of the social and gender norms that cause inequality.
Achola Liz is a human rights lawyer and programs officer in charge of research and knowledge management with the Women’s Probono Initiative,a legal NGO that provides legal services to women and girls in uganda who can’t afford/access justice. She is passionate about providing platforms for the vulnerable members of the society and advocating for equality for both men and women especially when it comes to fighting societal and patriarchal norms that hinder/obstruct women and girls from living their lives and human rights. Some of these norms encompass things like right to body autonomy, career, religion,marriage etc.
With her unique and rare skin tone when asked about it, she often says that; “I’m pretty comfortable with my body. I’m perfect. The imperfections are there. People are going to see them, but I take the view that you only live once”. And always advices others that, “your skin is just some aspect of who you are and it doesn’t define you as a person”.
Her message to fellow young women on this international women’s day is to continue celebrating their beauty, be bold enough to fight for their rights and inclusiveness in every space that they take.
So just like Audrey Hepburn said, “True beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul”. I too believe that a woman’s beauty is shown in the work and care she gives and the passion she shows and shouldn’t be a victim of appearance based discrimination or any form of discrimination like in terms of following her career paths.
And to every young woman who is reading this let’s continue to celebrate each other’s Beauty, Boldness and Brightness to take action.
Happy International Women’s Day.
Cc photo credits.
Achola Liz and Julius Ceasar Kasujja