I am created beautiful, I can be created out of gold, silver, or any other durable metallic object and even beads. Sometimes, I am a combination of both metal and beads. When I am created out of beads, it brings out the African in me. There is no way you would say I am not beautiful when you see me. I am a twin…Yes I have a twin sister, but we are used similarly but differently on the body of a woman especially the African woman.
In as much as I’m beautiful, society has soiled me with dirt, which makes me look like a monster in the eyes of many. My white name has been soiled with muddy water leaving my twin sister being clean.. So I am alone in this battle. My image has been tarnished to the extent that, it goes a long way to affect those who use me. In fact, I can confidently say that they (my users) feel the heat and wrath of society more than I do. I thought I was an object of culture and fashion in the whole world but with time I realized I’m even treated like an outcast and a taboo in some parts of the world which affects those who use me.
I have a beautiful name just like my twin sister, I know you’re eager to know me. My name is “ANKLET” Yes! You heard me right, I am an Anklet and my twin sister is “BRACELET”!!! I have other names like ankle chain, ankle bracelet or ankle string. I am an ornament worn around the ankle especially by ladies. In the early 20th century, I was worn by Egyptian women and other women in Africa along with a traditional dress and there was nothing wrong with me being used by them, but today, anklets are not commonly worn by the same women in public due to increased in religious conservatism that has spread in the world where wearing me (Anklet) in public is generally perceived as being immodest.
Not only Egypt as a country disgusts me now, but many other countries. I am worn most in South Asia,Europe, Africa etc. In Kenya and other African countries I’m treated like culture, their ladies wear me without any bad image tagged to them. In Europe I’m seen as an epitome of fashion. The question now is, why was I seen as beautiful in the early 20th Century but seen as a monster now? I will tell you why; It all started when ladies who did “night business” (Prostitutes) used me as part of their dressing code. Because of my beautiful nature and attractiveness, ladies used me and majority of them were prostitutes so I got the tag that I am an object of prostitution.
That is when society soiled my beautiful self, so ladies who used to wear me stopped, because no one wanted to be called a prostitute. But the prostitutes,who were already who they were, kept using me then it became like I was created purposely for them. That is how I became a symbol of prostitution or availability of sex… It’s just a mere perception that spoilt my reputation.
Today, I decided to take a walk on the streets of Ghana,to ask people both men and women about my self. Yes I needed to know what people think of me and those who use me. In Ghana, I found out that the Queen mothers of the Akan tribe and other southern tribes wore me as part of their traditional dressing. And I also found out that in the Ghanaian setting when a baby is born, the mother puts a white beaded anklet on both legs of the child,be it a boy or a girl. For whatever reason, I may not tell but I see it as a norm and so anklets its part of you ( Ghanaian) from birth. So what makes it different, when that child grows up to say she wants to wear one? Are we rather lost or found? Aahh well Opinions are like noses…
Today, a young lady who isn’t a queen mother dares not use me. Because if she did…then she is seen as a prostitute,or bad-spoilt-naughty girl or a “hard core” girl all because of me (Anklet). My question is; Are the Queen Mothers of the Southern tribe in Ghana prostitutes? I guess its a rhetorical question.
I was made just like the bracelet but because I am worn on the ankle, I am the “devil” and those who use me too are considered as such but she (bracelet) being worn on the wrist is the angel. This is the point racism and inferiority complex started. Let’s assume this has nothing to do with culture but fashion, and if it is fashion, Yes fashion will send people to places… If a chain is made for the hand or wrist, what shows that same fashion won’t drag us to making one for the leg or ankle? To me I see it as someone wearing hand gloves or hand socks condemning one wearing foot socks… Fashion trends come and go, if you won’t follow it fine, but don’t use harsh words on those who do it. Because calling someone a “prostitute” is really a harsh word to use.
Society can not always be right, in my research I realized most of the people condemned me (Anklet) without a vivid explanation as to what makes me bad but it’s just because its known to them that anybody who uses me is a prostitute hence, they won’t allow their relatives or partners to wear me. I don’t have a problem if you don’t wear me, in fact I’m not campaigning for you to wear me but I’m against the
stigma you put on people who wear me. If you don’t wear me, then don’t judge those who wear me. A lot of African men would love to see their partners wear me but they cannot withstand the societal stigmatization that comes with wearing me(Anklet). I asked another question; is it in your Holy Books that, I’m an object of sin and hence wearing me makes one a sinner?Another rhetorical question. Please leave my users alone, if one is a prostitute, she will be not because she has used me…Prostitution has got nothing to do with me and I’ve got nothing to do with her.
There is a lady I encountered, who lamented that her friends would never want to hear the mention of my name but if you probe them further, they are never able to give any reasons why they think I should not be worn. Now I turned and asked my self, could that be naivety, ignorance or they are just blindly following what society says without thinking deep?
Who is the society? Its me and you and you and you… if we change our way of thinking then things will work. These little things counts, these little misjudgment affects lives. If just an anklet is what society use as a yardstick to judge innocent souls then we are doomed! When you’re hungry, society will never mind. Civilization has come to stay, its high time we changed from this mediocrity of ours. Change they say is the only constant thing in life so let’s change our attitudes and minds towards things and these little things counts. If you change your mind about the bad perception of anklets and it’s users and I do too, we will be able enlighten the world at large.
ANKLETS USERS ARE NOT PROSTITUTES!!!
ANKLET USERS ARE NOT LESBIANS!!!
ANKLET IS A SYMBOL OF CULTURE!!!
ANKLET IS A SYMBOL OF FASHION!!!
ANKLET IS NOT A TABOO!!!
(A Plea of an Anklet)
PS: I am just a voice of a voiceless anklet. CHEERS!!!
This article is written by Larry Rita (She does not even wear anklets)