My short skirt adorned my full figure today. And did they stare, yes! Young, old, bold, male, female,sophisticated, opinionated, intoxicated, and educated.Some stared, some looked, and others buried themselves in a book. One said, ” You look cute” and the other said “You’ll bring out the brute”. I cast caution to the wind, i didn’t care. It was, after all, my day. I was the -it.
I remember seeing pictures of the 60s and 70s in Kenya when women would wear skirts and dresses as long as the span of their arms, and the fact that they would go to Ramogi to take pictures proudly baring those thighs in adoration of fashion and in celebration of life. I was very happy to see those pictures so I could defend my own choice to sport minis and micros. When you reached a certain age you wore the maxi,but if you were not married, and at your prime, you rocked that mini.By the 90s however, that was a memory relegated to auntie’s album in the very back of the closet.
It is October 2006, and my short skirt has no place in time, not here and especially not now. On two occassions when I have worn skirts up to mid thigh, they have attracted the unwanted. Let me define unwanted. I want the compliments but I don’t want the lecherous comments. I want to have a free walk, but i don’t want to show off my legs to those who pity my size. I always see either a jealous stare or a pity patter of eyelids. By the way, I cannot make either happy. Those who want more of a view want me to have less thigh, and those who want me to have more thigh spit on me if I show more. I want to sit by you and talk, you and you and you. BUT, Take your hands away from any bare skin I show, and respect all the women whose skin you see. It is not a slice of meat, but a peek of them.
But back to the short skirt. My short skirt has no place in America. It is another symbol of how perverse this new generation of young black women appears, according to some. To others, it is un-African( I go back to those Ramogi B/W snaps). When will this madness end? It will end when people go back to wearing short skirts on the streets of Nairobi. Needless to say, my short skirt has no business in my suitcase when I return home. It shall be welcome in my casket before they inter my bruised body. that is what you get for walking in Nairobi mini-skirted( read, naked)
So when in Nairobi, I will don my short skirt sometimes, just to remember that there was a time when one did not have to hide the everything to be defined as someone in society.Women will return to the era of the mini when they stop being robbed and raped and sat on and pinched and pulled to pieces. When the bus and the buck stops here – and when those pledges to protect women become real, I will stop wearing my short skirt. for now, I will wear it with all the pride in me, in solidarity with the women at home who cannot, for insecurity, for fear and just because so-and-so said that you cannot wear it as such.