Remember those hot summer days when you were 13/14 years old, walking to the neighbourhood shop to buy bread, wearing those old Edgars blue denim shots and pink flip flops? Yeah, I remember those sunny days too. Remember how you’d receive disturbing comments that made you feel uncomfortable by that old Malume (uncle) under the mango tree smoking weed? Yeah, I remember those disturbing comments too. Remember the things those group of guys who used to hang outside the tuckshop would say? Things like “Ngizozikhulisela wena nje” (I’ll make you mine). Yeah, I remember those unsolicited sexual advances all too well.
Majority of black girls grow up with low self-esteem issues and insecurities because they are made to feel sexually uncomfortable with their bodies at a young age. An underaged girl gets told to sit a certain way so she can not be seen as enticing. When older men make sexual advances to young girls, it is always the girls’ fault because, as people say, “she is too forward”.
Society needs to collectively dismantle the sexualization of underaged girls the same way they have been able to place responsibilities on them and assuming that they know better when they are being taken advantage of. Young girls should be able to live in a society that sees them for what they are, which is children. They should be able to wear mini skirts without any men feeling uncomfortable. Black girls deserve a chance to be kids and treated as such despite their early body development.