Hi guys, it’s Delena again!
This week, I wanted to talk to you about something that I’ve been finding very difficult during my time living in the UK as a woman from the Ukraine. I created this blog as a way to articulate some things that I wanted to be able to speak about, without the language barrier getting in the way - and this is certainly one of them.
I come up against a lot of stereotypical thinking when I interact with people in the UK (not necessarily people from the UK, but people who live here). It’s like as soon as they find out I’m from the Ukraine, they have a preconceived notion in their head about what I’m like - before they’ve even got to know me. (Sometimes, they won’t even understand the difference between Russia and the Ukraine, but that’s a separate matter…)
These judgements can take two forms.
The first one actually bothers me less because it’s something I’ve just got so used to over the years. And that is the judgement from men who tell me, “all Ukrainian girls are very beautiful.” I am instantly judged by my looks and the place I come from. I never, or rarely get told, “Ukraine is a beautiful country,” or asked what it was like to grow up there. I am just immediately fetishised and faced with this misogyny, and, until now, I felt like to speak out against it would cause unwanted negative responses. I don’t want to pick a fight with men whose opinions I will never be able to change, but I can’t stay silent about it anymore.
The second stereotype upsets me more. This is the notion that all Ukrainian people are used to lavish things and that this makes them shallow. I like to be generous, I like to invite people to parties and to use my platform and my privilege to help people. Does that make me shallow? I don’t want to be famous just for the sake of it - I’m an artist and I want to make music which will help people.
I have things to say and I have ideas and love to give through my music. I want to use it to share parts of myself with people; my funny and serious sides, and I want to help people through my music.
I hope that, through doing these blog posts, I will be able to speak frankly and honestly about topics which are important to me.
Until next time,