To be frank, I can’t quite remember a moment where anyone thought of me as a single story even though I’m pretty sure it has happened at least once in my life, but I want to shed some light on the western single story of Africa as a chunk of the “Third World” or an underdeveloped continent full of malnourished kids who live in jungles. The term “Third World” gets its origins from the Cold War in the 20th century. First World was used to refer to the Allied powers (United States, western Europe and their allies), while Second World described the Axis powers (Soviet Union, Cuba and China), and Third World was the name assigned to remaining nations who aligned with neither group. Because the “Third World” included many countries with less money in comparison to their counterparts, the term soon became synonymous with poor nations. As the phrase “Third World” began to lose its popularity, “Developing country” soon became the new norm. The issue with both terms is that they create a flawed hierarchy that shouldn’t exist. They both suggest that countries in the “Developed world” have magically achieved an optimal state, without need for rectifying. The truth is that all nations could benefit from improvement. Poverty, poor healthcare, and under-funded schools can be found everywhere across the world, not just African countries that some deem as charity hotspots. Additionally, this language makes it seem like western nations have nothing to learn from other countries which is completely ignorant and inaccurate. That being said, we should learn to be as specific as possible when it comes to geographic location rather than grouping nations together under problematic generalizations. My suggestions? If you're trying to find a better phrase, terms like underprivileged and low-income will serve as good replacements as they don't refer to a certain standard of superiority.