11 types of Somali women that you should know about
This is just my personal observation, not poking fun at any specific person, so ha i cunin. However, if the shoe fits:
1. Wadaada: Usually has “Umm” in her moniker. No pictures of herself. Everything she posts is deen related. The only time she goes out is to go to Islamic lectures or meet her “akhawaat.” She’s what you’d call the haraam police who points out that cheese contains pork and is always judging other women under the guise of advice.
2. Betty Crocker: She’s the recently married superwife whose social media is awash with dishes and desserts so scrumptious that it gives you temporary existential crisis over your useless culinary skills. Her house is something from a magazine and you try to emulate her by ordering stuff from IKEA -in vain.
3. The fashionista: She’s the epitome of Somali beauty standards; bone-straight “Hindi” hair down her back, lightskinned, slim with a long neck. She’s perfected her makeup game, her eyebrows are on fleek. She rocks the latest durooc at the aroosyada she goes to every weekend, like clubbing. Every guy wants her, every girl wants to be her but hates her due to envy. Because she’s come to rely on her looks, she’s vapid and clueless.
4. The social justice warrior: She’s usually on Twitter and is always tweeting bitchy snide remarks about some poor soul who’s a self-hating sheep in her books. You’ll suss her out by the redundant use of these terminologies; cultural appropriation, pan-African, intersectional feminism, black excellence, white feminism, and of late, cadaan studies. She wears her hair out in a natural afro, usually with a nose ring. Oh, there’s the quintessential Araweelo somewhere in her moniker. Apparently, the female version of Hannibal Lecter is a role model.
Warning: don’t approach. You’ll be cussed out and shred to pieces and your name blacklisted across social media by the help of her fellow minions.
5. The wistful spinster: She’s in her mid-20s, with a degree and a well-paid job under her belt but her relationship status is the bane of her existence. She’s pestered by shaqo la’aan Somali aunties and it sure hit a nerve because love is all she thinks about. She spends her free time searching Tumblr and Pinterest for poignant love poems whilst listening to Somali love songs – which is basically 99% of all songs. Her timeline is something out of a Bollywood movie.
6. The eternal student. You lose track of the amount of degrees and diplomas she holds. She goes from one course to another like a monkey bar. She’s always involved in a project or attending seminars. Thing is, you can’t pinpoint what she’s rallying for. She’s a jack of all trades. She’s almost always a first born whose family have come to rely on and uses her to fulfill their broken dreams.
7. The patriot: She’s fiercely nationalistic, and dogmatic. She’s an unrelenting supporter of politicians of her qabiil or region. She’s the go-to person if you want to know anything about the status quo in politics. She organizes parties for the visiting politicians in town and holds fundraisers. She’s also a closeted qabiiliste.
8. The apathetic mum: She married not long after high school, didn’t pursue university education and had 4 kids in 7 years. She’s the unassuming friend who’s always smiling and welcoming yet seems distant. She’s secretly lamenting her life as she looks to the eternal student and the social justice warrior and wonders what if she hadn’t married so soon? What if she hadn’t gotten kids so close in age? Her self-doubt is fuelled by years of being made fun of and mocked for settling down so soon.
9. The Somali Nightingale: She’s always collecting money towards some good cause and wishes she could be 100 people to help everyone. People take advantage of her kindness and she burns herself out to numb the void in her heart.
10. The jet-setter 40-something mother of one: She looks like Cruella de Vil in One hundred and one Dalmatians. She wears elaborate African head wraps and uses English words in every other sentence which is cringe-worthy because it’s so unnecessary.
11. The gossip guru: She has dirt on every Somali in the city and is the human tabloid for when the women get together to talk over tea. If she doesn’t know it, it didn’t happen. If your mom receives an anonymous tip of your whereabouts or the guy you’re seeing, you know who tipped her off.
Mulki Ali is Somali blogger of Midnight Blues and a contributor to Sahan Journal.