Last week was a tough one for Stacey Dooley. The injustice of being labelled a “white saviour” while innocently Instagramming in Africa was bad enough. Worse, was being accused of it while innocent as to what a “white saviour” even was. Stacey wondered at one point if it had something to do with being white, but is still awaiting an answer on that, from horrible MP David Lammy (you know, the one whose righteous anger captured the collective public mood over last year’s Windrush scandal when he called it out in Parliament as a “day of national shame”).
But the worst of all the atrocities of last week was the suggestion that Stacey Dooley look up No White Saviors (NWS) which was ridiculous, as if a bunch of African snowflakes would know what it feels like to be a white celebrity falsely accused of being a white saviour.
Luckily for Stacey, celebrity Africa-Instagrammer Barbie Savior reached out on social media, a few days ago, with a supportive tweet and some helpful hints on how to handle the haters, drawn from her own Africa experiences of recent years.
Barbie Savior’s first tip was simple: ignore the haters! Just stay focused, Stacey, on your truth, on what drew you to that black baby in the first place. They “take the BEST pictures!”
Next, Barbie Savior advised Stacey to let the haters know (like BS always does when Instagramming with black babies) that it isn’t fair to judge a single photo without knowing the meaningful context, ie, what went on just before Stacey picked up what’s-his-name:
And for those who cynically question the depth of the bond between Stacey and her little scruff-muffin? Well, Barbie Savior was unequivocal. It’s simply something that only a fellow Africa-Instagrammer can understand:
But Barbie Savior did advise Stacey nonetheless (as haters are gonna hate) that it is important to share follow-up photos, so detractors can see that even though what’s-his-name did look uncomfortable with being exploited he really WASN’T (uncomfortable). Some black babies take time to warm up.
Next, Barbie Savior advised that Stacey insist on an acknowledgement of her hard work at looking hot in poverty pics, and not let herself be shamed for it by the likes of that frump from the Daily Mail, Jan Moir, who had the audacity to ask the obvious: “has she applied a post-production vanity filter to make her eyes so blue, her skin so clear and her teeth so bright? Since that would be so ghastly and inappropriate, such a glutinous splotch of first-world narcissism in the middle of this dusty safari of poverty, I’m going to give her the benefit of the doubt and presume she hasn’t.” BS urged Stacey to be proud of her touch-ups. Own them out loud! After all, BS knows that “taking selfies in Africa is NOT for the faint of heart. It is an art form.”
Next, and Barbie Savior was passionate about this one, urging Stacey: do not apologise for the caption: ‘OB.SESSSSSSSSSSED.’ Inspirational quotes under pics are E. SSSSSENTIAL, after all, in BS’s own words (or are they Gandhi’s?): “if you put an inspirational quote under your selfie, no-one can see your narcissism.”
Then, Barbie Savior urged Stacey to make sure and post photos of a VARIETY of places in Africa during her time there. Just look at what that know-it-all black woman writer Ateh Jewel (who should be grateful she’s being allowed to write for the Telegraph) had to say: “it wouldn’t be so bad if other images of Africa were widely known and shown.” That was no doubt a sly dig at Stacey’s lovely and typical-of-literally-all-of-Africa shot of a shack:
So, Barbie Savior advised that Stacey stay ahead of detractors like hater-Ateh by posting one photo from a city for every thousand from a village:
Next, kill off those savage claims, once and for all, that Instagramming-a-stereotype-whilst-in-Africa is a practice rooted in colonialism, urged BS, a claim that is so wrong! Everyone knows it’s rooted in The Lion King!
And finally, turn this injustice into an opportunity, Stacey (this is very much Barbie Savior’s approach to life’s challenges. Just look at her amazing charity, Harness the Tears, where she recycles Western tears over Africa’s poverty into water for poor Africans: “harnessing broken hearts to provide water to those in Africa, one tear at a time.”) Barbie Savior insisted there was NO NEED for Stacey to contact No White Saviors to learn about the white saviour complex, just know that (A) she DEFINITELY doesn’t have it. And (B) it’s bad. In fact, it’s “the WORST.” Perhaps Stacey can think about joining the fight against this upsetting white saviour complex by advocating too, together she and BS can save Africa from this hideous scourge!
All Barbie Savior images and quotations cited by the author are courtesy: https://www.instagram.com/barbiesavior/
For more on Barbie Savior see: barbiesavior.com
For more on No White Saviors see: https://www.instagram.com/nowhitesaviors/?hl=en
For more on No White Saviors and the Stacey Dooley/White Saviour row: