Today is beautiful!! I have to tell you, I believe Tokyo is a top contender for "The City with the Most Beautiful & Sunny Winter Days". I ventured outside earlier to visit the supermarket. I'm still suffering from a cold and it's full of sneezes and sniffles. (I like the way sneezing feels though--hehehe).
Anyway, just thought I would continue Part II of the "What's it like being a Black Woman in Tokyo" question. Something came to mind a few minutes and I thought I should share...
Makeup and pantyhose. If your skin color is beyond 'caramel latte' dark, then cosmetics like foundation and pantyhose for your skin color just don't exist in this country. So your options are a) bring enough with you b) have someone send you things periodically c) find it on e-bay d) whine about it while wearing the wrong shade. (D isn't really an option....) I wear MAC's Select SPF 15 Foundation (which I absolutely LOVE, by the way) and it's almost impossible to find my color anywhere. So, whenever I come across it on e-bay, online, or whathave you, I purchase it.
I highly recommend this ONline Store for your cosmetics needs STRAWBERRY NET. Not only did they carry my color foundation, they also have FREE shipping! Seriously!!! I don't think I've ever received free shipping for anything I've purchased online before. I must admit, I was terribly skeptical, because their website is in terrible need of a design overhaul. But only 4 days after my online order, a cute little white box with a purple ribbon arrived in the mail! And inside..... it was my MAC foundation-- the real deal. Sit highly recommends!
Let's see, so for some basic hair care products you may want to try Foreign Buyers Club. I was flipping through their catalog the other day and came across a few black hair products. Of course, hair products are a definite option a) 'bring enough with you" for me.
So the "what's it like" part? Well, it would be great if my products were just as available as other products. I'm talking, run around the corner to the store and pick up something. But, that's definitely a luxury that one must give up when living in a foreign country-- especially one with a tiny tiny tiny populations of black women (a seriously small percentage). Therein lies the problem actually. The percentage is so small and even that percentage includes another percentage of black women who are only planning to reside here for a 'few years' so there is no demand, thus there is not supply.
As for my hair, as I mentioned before I wear braids and will continue to do so while I reside in Japan. Why? Because the water is terribly hard on my hair. I know some women who purchase bottled water to wash their hair here- because of the chemicals. Other black woman I've spoken with here in Japan have had the same reaction-- dry, brittle, and breaking hair. It was shocking, something I never want to experience again.
Anyway, Part III coming up soon.