I’m from a village where ‘freedom of exposure’ is respected, whether old or young. A culture where our skin is our Orijin Fashion, our Gucci, our PRADA, or whatever name brand that is out there. As a matter of fact, we are our own designer brands, and we wear ourselves with expensive handmade jeweleries which we manufacture with our own sweat and blood–body arts and body ornaments, showing our confidence and pride for our skin and culture.
Arbore Tribe | Photo by Ken Hermann
After all the excitement of posting my culture and seeing the reaction from various interesting people from around the world appreciating my culture with hundreds of Likes and Shares, I was surprised the next day with a disturbing message which read: We removed content you posted. We removed this content because it doesn’t follow the Community Standards regarding Nudity.
“Facebook has a strict policy against the sharing of pornographic content and any explicitly sexual content where a minor is involved. We also impose limitations on the display of nudity. We aspire to respect people’s right to share content of personal importance, whether those are photos of a sculpture like Michelangelo’s David or family photos of a child breastfeeding.”
My first reaction was “Nudity, pornographic?”, how is my photo considered nudity or pornographic? See in my world there is no such thing as nudity so I never quite looked at my everyday lifestyle as nudity–in our eyes we are clothed with our natural beauty and artwork we design on our bodies. It was very upsetting, especially as I thought I was contributing to what the United Nation’s UNESCO and other worldwide organizations having been talking about; Conserving cultures and promoting diversity. But yet, the beauty of my culture was considered a taboo to be posted on Facebook.
In the midst of me still trying to understand what Facebook meant by “Limitations on the display of nudity, but aspire to respect people’s right to share content of personal importance? “, shockingly, out of the blue, Kim Kardashian decided to post her nude photo from the ‘Paper Magazine’ on social media with a the tag line “Breaking the internet“.
I wanted to call Kim so bad to take it off before Facebook found her picture and penalize her, but I remembered I did not have her number. The photo stayed on and on, and on, and on till this day, and still on till today.
Pardon me! Wait! So Kimmy K’s photo is considered okay, not nude nor pornographic but my African culture photos that I posted which were also artistic and educational in opening the worlds eyes to culture around us were considered pornographic? While all this was baffling to me, I also got another shocking surprise revealed to me on the new. —facebook had reached its landmark of 100-Million users in Africa. They prided in their efforts in penetrating an emerging market,
“We now have 100-million people coming to Facebook every month across the African continent with more than 80% using mobile devices,” says Nicola Mendelsohn, Facebook vice president for Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Pause!! Pardon me again. This is crazy.
Facebook could not respect my right to share my personal culture to the world but then penetrates a market which I belong to. So Penetrating my market for what? Penetrating a market without giving a damn about our culture and lifestyle? Is this some sort of neocolonialism I wondered. BULLSHIT to the highest degree. (Sorry for my rant)
If the goal of Facebook and other social media platforms goal is to penetrate Africa, then my question is quite simple; “Is the African heritage and culture important to Facebook, Instagram and all others that are penetrating the Africa in market?”
Dear Facebook, Instagram and all other social media platforms, I leave that question up to you to answer. But while you gently gather your brainstorming team to think, I will conclude by helping your thoughts :
If the African heritage and culture is important to you, then it is very important for Facebook and all Social Media Brands to redefine nudity in respect to the true identity and rich cultures of Africa and other parts of the world such as mine which is highly appropriate for adults and children.(Not Pornographic)
If not respected for even a discussion amongst your team, then it is easier for me to conclude that your social media platforms are what I will call “social mdeiaries”; A social media missionary platform designed to psychologically invade our culture while impose your social habbit’s on us. And we wonder why there is so much discrimination and stereotyping in this world which leads to self-hate, disrespect and violence in communities, Because the communities are not exposed enough to other cultures to understand people.
How long shall they kill our culture while we stand aside and look. Won’t you help to sing, this song of freedom, that’s all I ever ask.
I only speak up today, so that my culture will continue to live in this world tomorrow.
Share it, let the world hear it
My African culture Facebook taboos but Kim Kadarshian’s nudity okay.
Inspired by Bob Marley’s philosophy “None but ourselves can free our mind”, Orijin is a unique “Culture Brand” connecting all African descendants together through it’s Fashion brand and thought provoking magazine to influence our lifestyles world wide….Don’t just WEAR Culture, SHARE Culture.
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