When I was 11 years old, I was enrolled in a summer camp program. There were four boys and three girls in this program. Automatically the boys and girls segregated themselves by their gender. I was the only African-Canadian person in the program. Among the three girls, one was tall blonde with blue eyes, the other was shorter with brown hair and blue eyes and then there was me, with short black hair and brown eyes. At the very start of the program, the girl with the brown and blue eyes started to distance herself from us two girls and started hanging around with the boys. To be honest she was a little of a tomboy and she felt more comfortable engaging with the boys. So for the next week after week it was just us two girls forming a friendship and hanging out together. Towards the end of the program the teacher said we were doing a project and for us to pair up, and the one person that was left without a partner would be paired up with teacher. I automatically assumed that I and the girl with blonde and blue eyes were going to be partners. We had hanged out all summer together while the other girl had chosen to ignore us and hang out with the boys. However to my surprise the blonde girl asked the brown haired girl to be her partner and I was left without a partner. I went home that day and asked myself what had happened? What was wrong with me? She hadn’t shown signs that she was dissatisfied with our friendship? It took me a university degree and life experience to figure out what this 11 year old girl knew at such a young age. In order to have the best access to resources one must promote their self image and images that are most similar to them.
After many similar experiences with white girls and women growing up, I began to perceive that culturally white women were raised to value and promote their image above all other images. In contrast, if I were put in the same situation where I had to choose between another black girl who was unfriendly to me as opposed to a white girl who was friendly to me, my choice irregardless of whose looks were closer to mine will be the girl who was most friendly. What does this summer camp experience have to do with Megan Markle? Basically I was surprised when I found out that it was a white woman that was responsible for introducing Megan Markle to Prince Harry. I wondered if that meant a shift in the culturally mindset. By linking Megan Markle image to one of the most eligible bachelors, that creates a self promotion for a woman that is non-white. In contrast, there is shift happening in African American culture that is encouraging black women to become more self promoting, and encouraging black to support and promote their images first and foremost.
However one may argue that Megan Markle who is bi-racial, looks closer to her “white side,” so it is not a stretch for her image to promoted in the “white media.” Although this can be true, the fact Megan Markle has been revealed as having a black parent, psychologically transfers her into a “black woman” to the wider white population. This phenomenon can be seen by the types of insults thrown at Megan Markle. She is being told to go back “Africa”. Certain members of the royal family are showing up at parties wearing stereotypical images as an insult to Megan Markle’s blackness. It seems her looks are almost put aside and the fact that she is part black becomes her whole image. So this leads me back to my earlier question, if Megan Markle image becomes featured and promoted, what does this do for the perception of the standard of beauty? Are we seeing a pendulum swing whereby white women are becoming less promoted and non-white women(particularly black women) are becoming more promoted? Will the relationship between Megan Markle and Harry change how will perceive beauty and love? This are interesting times and It will be interesting to see how the “Megan Effect” will alter society perception of the standard of beauty. Only time will tell.