Loving The Skin I'm In Or How I Found Out I'm Beautiful.....

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As a little girl, I didn’t love the skin I was in, I was called “Darkie, Boot, Charcoal.”

It was always understood that light is better and White is Right.

As a result,  I used the Brillo pads I saw my mama use to clean her pots and pans to scrub my Black skin.

My feelings of self-hatred, inferiority, and shame consumed me. Who decides what is considered beautiful anyway?

Then one day, my ninth grade Social Studies Teacher told me I was beautiful, that we “Black people” came from African Kings and Queens, and that my Black skin is what makes me special, a gift from God.

Could it be true, I thought to myself?

From that day to this one, I began to walk and speak with confidence; I, now look in the mirror and I’m loving the skin I’m in.

This is sadly an issue that continues to plague the Black community; women and men.

Society promotes beauty as lighter whiter skin; and, dark as ugly, non-desirable.

However there are exceptions as in the case of the actress Lupita Nyong’o born to Kenyan parents in Mexico City. Lupita was raised in Kenya to age 16; her parents sent her back to Mexico to learn Spanish. Lupita shared her insecurities as a child growing up with dark skin stating, “I was ashamed of my dark skin, I was teased and taunted.”

There are hundreds of thousands of Lupita Nyong’o out there who need to know and understand they are beautiful, they have worth, they are not alone.

We must continue to share our stories to inspire those who are going through similar experiences.

We must embrace the skin we’re in, we have much to offer to the world just as we are. 


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