I would stand in the front of the mirror and hate what I saw. A dark face, round nose and wide lips framed by lots of woolly hair. Mum said I was a princess. So I spent years looking for a someone like me to show up on the telly.
No-one did.
Then I started wishing I looked like Susan. Can you imagine that? She had big blue eyes like the doll I had when I was a baby and like a baby she could open and close her eyes and make whining noises which most boys seemed to like listening to. She had long blonde hair which she liked to flick in everyone’s face so I got my black cardigan, stuck it on my head and swished my head around until I felt a bit sick.
Mum saw me and laughed.
Dizzy, I tore the stupid thing off my head. “I wish I had long hair like yours”.
She smiled. “You look lovely. Why do you think people go on holidays? So they can look just like you…”
I wasn’t convinced. Nobody stared at you when you had a tan that faded by autumn. I was a little ‘coloured girl’ every day of the year.
I kept on searching and one evening I saw the Supremes on ‘Top of the Pops.’ They were beautiful, sophisticated and could sing.
They looked different but it was a good different.
My hair was short and grew in clumps (because Mum couldn’t do a thing with it) it grew wild like the back of our neighbours garden. I had to wait for Mothers fortnightly visits with The Comb. This iron implement was used to coax my curls into lying smoothly across my scalp but as they couldn’t betray their heritage, they would stand up at a degree of approximately 90 degrees every time.
It wasn’t fair. After all Mother wore a wig like the Supremes which meant that she did not have to go through all this pain to look like a Princess.
supremes

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