All Articles Tagged "dark skin"
It appears that 24-year-old Harlem rapper A$AP Rocky got way more than he bargained for when he decided to offer his two cents on dark-skinned women and their choice of lipstick color. In case you missed it, the outspoken New Yorker expressed during an interview that he didn’t find red lipstick to be attractive and dark-skinned women and that only fair-skinned women could get away with rocking a red lip.
A$AP was blasted by women across the web almost immediately for his ridiculous and unwarranted comment. Even fellow Harlem emcee Azealia Banks went after the rapper, telling him that he needs to just “come out of the closet” already.
Now, almost two months later, Rocky has decided to respond to harsh criticism he’s received as a result of his comments. In an interview with 93.9 WKYS, he said that Black women are super sensitive when you comment on their appearance and dramatically claimed that Black girls seemed like that were ready to “Rick Ross boycott him.”
“Black girls just, ah man, went crazy. They just took it how they took it. This is actually my second time talking about it cause I really don’t really look at it as an issue. If people get upset at that I think it’s petty at the same time. It’s like they d*mn near wanna Rick Ross boycott me right now, over some lipstick controversy. Black girls, you know how sensitive they are, but they our sisters man. It is what is man. I come from a Black home, so I know how sensitive Black women can be. Especially when you talking about they looks or something like that. You can’t say nothing about they glasses, they nails, none of that because then you’re a womanizer or you’re a racist. I don’t know how I’m going to be racist. I have to wake up and look at my black a** in the mirror everyday. It’s like, what are you talking about? But it is what it is, man. I’m proud to be Black.”
Clearly, he still doesn’t get it.
Turn the page to watch A$AP’s interview.
Why The Discussion About Colorism Won’t Change Or End Unless We’re Honest With Ourselves And Deal With Our Own Pain
Aside from being a big topic of discussion after A$AP Rocky’s words about women of a darker complexion needing to pass on bright red lipstick, colorism was also the topic of discussion on Twitter a few weeks ago. And the question posed that intrigued me to the point of response was simply:
“Will colorism end without discussing it? Have things improved due to the relative silence over the subject?
I didn’t have to think very hard about that. Every discussion I had been a part of up to a few months ago and every discussion I silently watched unfold ended in hurt feelings and intense anger on one or both sides. For a long time I just chalked it up to years of, “Well that’s just the way it is.” But seeing the discussion get started on Twitter once again, I really got to the root of why I believed simply DISCUSSING colorism will not improve anything.
I grew up being called “high yella” and enduring jabs from classmates telling me that I was trying to be a white girl. When I wasn’t being dissed I was being asked, “Are you mixed? What are you?” People were genuinely interested when they thought I was some exotic mixture of ethnic blood. When I convinced them I was simply and awesomely black, interest was lost. I don’t have time to get into how that tug-of-war effed up my sense of self royally. Nor do I want to go into it. Why? Because there will always be a few who are darker than me who will be outraged by the fact that I even allude to struggling with color issues. And that’s fine, but the discussion about colorism will NOT improve or erase colorism because a great many people just DO NOT respect the other side’s struggle. And if there is no respect between dark and light, there can never be a discussion that will make things better. If there is no foundation of empathy and compassion, what good will a discussion do?
My sister is a few shades darker than me and for years we fought like cats and dogs. I had no real understanding of why. I thought she just hated me and I left it at that. Fine. I hated her too.
It wasn’t until last summer, both of us in our late twenties, that we sat and had a real conversation about it. She revealed to me that her whole life she felt people cared about me more because I was lighter and deemed prettier than her. It blew my mind because I never considered colorism in my own household with my own family. It was “out there,” but not “in here” in my mind. I just thought she had the devil in her when we fought. I had no idea how deep a hurt she was dealing with. But once I shut up and invited her to speak freely, I got it. I understood her and she understood me. But it wasn’t until we decided to drop our defenses and hear each other out objectively that a conversation about colorism would help us to progress. We had to grow up first. And that is something most folks can’t/won’t do. They want to stay stuck in their own little worlds of hurt ON BOTH SIDES of the debate and not acknowledge the pain and frustration on the other side of the line. That is and will always be counterproductive.
The other reason that a discussion about colorism won’t improve the situation is because no one wants to take self-inventory. It’s easy to say “I’m dark-skinned and I’ve been discriminated against” or “I’m light-skinned and been unfairly judged” and never look to see what part you might have played in the discrimination/unfair judgment by someone who isn’t on your side of it all. Were you a light-skinned child who teased and berated darker-skinned girls? Did you stand by and ALLOW it to happen even if you never partook in such behavior? Were you an insecure child of a darker complexion who bullied the child lighter than you because you felt inferior? Let’s get real. We all have hurt and pain, but how often do we dig deeper to see what hurt we’ve inflicted on others?
If we can be honest with ourselves first, and deal with our pain/pre-judgments, then a progressive discussion can happen. But not before. Take it from a sister who is still digging deep daily, learning about herself and others and striving to become better.
La Truly’s writing is powered by a lifetime of anecdotal proof that awkward can transform to awesome and fear can cast its crown before courage. La seeks to encourage thought, discussion and change among young women through her writing. Check her out on Twitter: @AshleyLaTruly and AboutMe www.about.me/latruly.
24-year-old Harlem rapper A$AP Rocky aka Rakim Mayers appears to have just landed himself in the hot seat with the ladies. Did he nonchalantly rap about date rape? No (Well, at least not that we know of). Did he discredit the civil rights movement by spitting sexually explicit and disrespectful lyrics about a civil rights icon? Well, no. His offense was way less dramatic, but an offense nonetheless. During a recent interview with The Coveteur, when asked his opinion on women who wear make-up, the “Choppas On Deck” rapper expressed that he isn’t a fan of red lipstick on dark-skinned women.
“I like red lips, it’s fine. I’m going to be real, though: it’s bad for making out, because it gets on the guys. But for real, for me, I feel like with the red lipstick thing it all depends on the pair of complexion. I’m just being for real. You have to be fair skinned to get away with that. Just like if you were to wear like—F**king for instance, what do dark skin girls have that you know fair skinned girls cant do… Purple lipstick? Naw, that looks stupid on all girls! Purple lipstick, guys! Like, what the F**k,” said Mayers.
You can probably guess that the hasty blanket statement wasn’t well received, especially considering all of the dark-skinned beauties who fiercely and flawlessly rock red lipstick.
“Oh ASAP, you should just stick to rapping. You clearly know nothing about perfecting a bold and beautiful lip. While there isn’t one universally flattering red, there are definitely enough shades out there to find the right one for every skin tone. And last time we checked ASAP’s fellow Harlem-native rapper Azealia Banks, who has a lovely dark chocolate complexion, is making a pretty penny off her purple-hued pout,” wrote the Huffington Post’s Julee Wilson in an article titled, “ASAP Rocky’s Misguided Beauty Advice.”
More interesting commentary came from the ladies over at CLUTCH, who compiled a photo presentation of brown-skinned stunners who have been able to pull of the red lip in an article titled, “Dear ASAP Rocky: Here’s Why You’re Wrong About Dark-Skinned Women and Red Lipstick.”
“Of course, this flawed logic isn’t surprising coming from someone whose known for his Rag doll braided hairstyle. But I want to address it because these kind of egregious myths associated with skin color are far too prevalent. ASAP Rocky isn’t the first to believe this untruth, and he won’t be the last. Red lipstick is one of those magical colors that work on everyone. Women with skin tones that range from deep to pale can find their perfect red and wear it with ease,” a portion of the essay reads.
Twitter also offered some pretty humorous commentary on the rapper’s beauty tips.
What are your thoughts on A$AP Rocky’s “beauty tips?”
Another day, another case of a skin lightening incident with a celebrity The latest one to fall victim is India Arie. The soul singer recently released the cover art for her new single “Cocoa Butter.” As you can see India is looking not only lighter but a bit unlike herself. (Though her legs and dress are fabulous!)
Folks started questioning her appearance on the cover and according to TMZ a “source close to India” explained India’s thoughts about the photo.
India says she did not ask that her skin be lightened. It was just a product of extreme lighting and the angle at which she was standing.
While I don’t think she asked to be lightened, she did approve the photo. Which is a bit interesting. Though, I really don’t know if it’s a problem. At this point, people should understand that there are tons of lights that go into producing professional photos.
What do you make of India’s photo? Should she have approved it?
And by the way check out the single. Despite the cover, the song has a nice message and sounds like the India we know and love. Check it out and let us know what you think.
Women of color come in so many beautiful shades. Unfortunately, there is a color complex that plagues the Black community. A complex that impacts both men and women, placing negative stigmas on darker toned skin. CNikky.com recently caught up with “Ice” singer, Kelly Rowland at ESSENCE’s Black Women In Hollywood Luncheon. During the interview, the former Destiny’s Child star got indubitably candid about one particular struggle that she dealt with regarding her self-image, and that was her beautiful brown skin.
“You know what I had great women in my life to help me overcome that. I remember I went through a period where I didn’t embrace my ‘chocolatiness.’ I don’t know if that’s a word, but I didn’t embrace my chocolate lifestyle. Just being a chocolate, lovely brown skin girl and being proud of that. I remember Tina Knowles, Bey’s mom and I remember being out in the sun and I was trying to shield myself from the sun and she said, ‘Are you crazy?’ She said ‘You are absolutely gorgeous’ and she just told me how beautiful I was and how rare chocolate is and how gorgeous the skin is, all of this stuff. And I was just like ‘Yeah!’ Like a light went off and so with that and my mother and me sitting out in the sun a little more, just to be a little more chocolate,” she revealed.
Kelly also had a word of advice to offer to women who may be struggling with insecurities in their own lives.
“You just embrace it. You embrace everything that you are as a woman, even your flaws too. And those things that you want to fix too and you work at making them better.”
Kelly Rowland is such a beautiful person, on the inside and out. It is very admirable that she is comfortable enough to speak candidly about an issue that people are generally so hush-hush about. Hopefully her transparency will be helpful to another young woman who may be struggling with similar insecurities.
What do you think of Kelly’s revelation?
An Open Letter to Hollywood: Is It Just Me, Or Do Women Of Darker Complexions Always Get Cast In The Stereotypical, Negative Roles?
I was excited to see the movie Alex Cross not too long ago. The idea of one of my favorite celebrities, Tyler Perry, appearing in a role that was quite different from all of his others was enough to make me buy a ticket and go support him. I was impressed with the movie, but what I was not impressed with was their selection of characters. I must say, I was disappointment to discover that one of the few women in the movie who was of a darker complexion was once again playing something extremely negative. Another female stereotype for dark-skinned women. Come on Hollywood, enough is enough!
This movie was not the first time females of a darker complexion have been featured in stereotypical, negative roles. This unfortunate typecasting that is happening so frequently that the list of ghetto and criminal roles is becoming exhaustive. The dark-skinned female in Alex Cross was not only a criminal, but she was inarticulate as well. And this depiction made me think back on many other beautiful black women who looked like this woman and played a similar character on-screen. Angela’s character from the Why Did I Get Married movies and series is extremely loud and uncouth. The sole hood character in the beloved “The Proud Family” series, Dijonay, was a dark-skinned little girl. The drugged out prostitute, Candy, in Madea goes to Jail was dark-skinned. The list goes on and on and on. It’s a good thing I have enough sense to know that criminals and those with no level of tact come in all complexions, or else I may have been inclined to think the only women capable of living sub-standard lives are dark-skinned.
In the ’60s and ’70s there were a number of positive portrayals of women of darker complexions in both movies and television. The “Black is beautiful” motto afforded all types of black women the opportunity to be cast in a variety of roles. Dark-skinned beauties like Roxie Roker and Isabel Sanford played wealthy, married women in the long-running sitcom The Jeffersons. Isabel Sanford’s historic Emmy win for her role in The Jeffersons proved that others appreciated her talent and the versatility she brought to her character. And don’t even get me started on the graceful (but broke) Florida Evans on Good Times, or Maxine Shaw in Living Single. So what is going on with the limited positive characters for us now?
It may all boil down to our people and the power we hold in the media. Before I get electronically blacklisted, please read on. More and more African Americans have made influential decisions in what occurs in television and movies. To whites, black people are black people regardless of skin tone. We are usually the only ones hung up on the different shades we come in. I’m aware that there are other groups of people that experience colorism, but for the sake of argument, I’m only referencing black people and white people. Once white people opened up to the idea of allowing us to be in the media, there was usually a wide range of black people they selected for various roles. Fast forward to today’s world and we can find a large assortment of dark-skinned women playing criminals or hood rats and an even larger variety of light-skinned women playing classy, sought after women. Who is responsible for these distorted depictions of black women?
I believe we hold the power to promote or eliminate these biased viewpoints. Considering a dark-skinned woman is the First Lady of the United States, one would assume most of these inaccurate stereotypes would have been removed. But when we hear about people like S. Epatha Merkerson who had no problem vocalizing her displeasure with seeing a dark-skinned child playing a role she felt should have gone to a fair-skinned child, I realized exactly where stereotypes and negative undertones may come from. When our own people attempt to remove a role, recognition, and compensation from another solely because “she didn’t feel that a white person and a black person can create a dark child,” I can see why a lot of our roles are limited or menial at best.
Ms. Merkerson seems to share similar opinions of some rappers, actors, and other celebrities. They appear to have no qualms about stating their preferences and the scales do not generally tip in favor of women. with a darker complexion While it’s acceptable to state preferences, it is really starting to be unacceptable to continuously equate dark-skinned women with demoralizing traits more often than not. If you ask me, if it weren’t for loud, angry, criminal, and “Aunt Jemima” looking mammy roles dark-skinned women would be even hidden in Hollywood than they already are.
Just because I have an adequate understanding of the origin of many stereotypes doesn’t mean it should be tolerated even if many of them come from our own people. As I anxiously await more and more dark-skinned women to be represented fairly in the media, I will continue to be thankful for the ones who are making strides with more positive roles–however small in number they may be.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Denzel Washington said that the best advice he has given to his aspiring actress daughter Olivia is, ‘You’re black, you’re a woman, and you’re dark-skinned at that. So you have to be a triple/quadruple threat…You gotta learn how to act. You gotta learn how to dance, sing, move onstage. That’s the only place, in my humble opinion, you really learn how to act.’
The Academy award winning actor went on to say, ‘Look at Viola Davis. That’s who you want to be. Forget about the little pretty girls; if you’re relying on that, when you hit 40, you’re out the door. You better have some chops.’
And somewhere across this planet, Viola Davis is like, “Gheez, thanks a lot Denzel!” But that’s the thing about Denzel. Even if it was meant as a back-handed slam against Davis, which I doubt it was, nobody would say anything because it is Denzel we’re talking about. He can do or say no wrong. However was he right to tell his daughter that she would have to work harder because of the color of her skin or is he just setting her for a lifetime of victimhood?
As famous parents go, you could not be as better situated than being the child of Denzel and Paulette Washington. Award winning actor, who was recently dubbed one of People Magazine’s sexiest men alive, Denzel should have the professional pull and connections needed to get Olivia at least started in a career in Hollywood. At the very least a Dark & Lovely No Lye Relaxer commercial on BET should be in her future. Or maybe not. Maybe everything we all suspected about Hollywood’s race and gender relations is true. I mean, it is no wonder that Halle Berry, Beyoncé and Alicia Keys, three women with lighter skin and more Caucasian features, top the list of the most sought after black stars. Even darker hued stars like Kim Wayans, Regina King and even super producer It-Girl Shonda Rhimes have all commented on the scarcities of black roles given to black actresses in general.
And let’s not forgot that only in Hollywood, would it seem okay for Zoe Saldana to portray Nina Simone. Not that Saldana is not a capable actress but Simone’s dark skin and African features were the essence of her public and personal identity. SO much so that she actually wrote songs about it. So slapping some dark foundation and a prosthetic nose on any ole’ black woman without concern of continuity to the subject matter, just screams of whitewashing. Maybe I’m wrong. But until we see Idris Elba or Djimon Hounsou play Jesus Christ in The Temptation of Christ Part 2, I will always have my doubts.
But this is the untold truth of what it is like living under white supremacy. And in this regard, Washington is right to prepare his children for the realities of our society. It’s the same advice that black parents have been giving their children for hundreds of years. So you want to make partner at your prestigious law firm, be prepared to work ten times harder than your white colleagues because you are black. And you want to make a name for yourself in the business world, well be prepared to compromise on a lot of your cultural identity. Want to be the next (formerly the first) black president, be prepared to eat lots of racial Isht, while baring and grinning, in the process.
At the same time, I’m sick of living and abiding by that world. I’m tired of telling our children to submit and to accept the idea that subjugation is a permanent state, in which they are powerless to change it. I would have preferred that his public message of advice for his daughter was that she was loved and supported. And that her talent and beauty is bigger than the status quo, therefore there is no need to continue to support in any capacity a system that devalues, ignores and misrepresents your image.
That’s what I would prefer him to say. But it is Denzel and he can do no wrong.
By Ashley Brumeh
I’m a dark-skinned woman who is well aware of colorism. Before you deduce this post to the typical “Here we go again with the light, bright, and everything right mentality” I’m ready to throw a curve ball. I’m on the opposite side of the colorism debate. While I’m all for my lighter-skinned sisters, I actually think dark-skin is beautiful! I love my complexion. My husband loves it too. Even the suitors I dated before him thought my smooth, dark skin was gorgeous. Yet I find that people like to tell women of a darker complexion what colors they shouldn’t be wearing, what things don’t work for us, and try to make us feel that we aren’t accepted or swexy. (“You’re cute for a dark-skinned girl.”)
I have a healthy self-esteem and a pretty blessed life, yet somehow I feel like society thinks I’m supposed to wallow in self-pity because I wasn’t born with light skin. The majority of the online black community has seemingly become inundated with the theory that everyone wants to be light or date light. Where are they getting this from? Is it because Beyoncé is on virtually every cover of every magazine? Is it because certain black celebrity men publicly profess their adoration for those of a lighter hue? Or is it because almost every dark-skinned, female we hear, see, or read about blames their “early childhood low self-esteem” on their complexion? Newsflash! EVERY chocolate sister isn’t drinking from the same regretful, “I wish I was lighter” Kool-Aid.
Perhaps everyone’s fascination with light-skin is the attention given to it. I can’t tell you how many times my frenemies have referenced my dark skin in a negative way. Or how they frequently mention to me that most men prefer light-skinned women. Or that the majority of successful, black women, be it in films, television, print, or other avenues of life are light-skinned. I know this type of rationale is not only false, but it perpetuates the superior/inferior complex that so many of our people have. Are dark-skinned women who possess beauty, brains, and happy and healthy relationships difficult concepts to fathom?
I can’t help highlighting a few of the many high-profile women of a darker complexion with a slew of beauty, success, and notoriety. Michelle Obama is our FLOTUS. Oprah is the only black, female billionaire in the world. Gabrielle Union, Kelly Rowland, Rozonda “Chili” Thomas, and Nia Long makes the hearts of both men and women melt. Melody Hobson, President of Ariel Investments, a $3 billion dollar investment firm, is in a long-term relationship with the well-renowned billionaire and Star Wars creator George Lucas. Surely their dark complexions didn’t deter them from being successful. Can the opponents of dark-skinned women catch a clue from these high-profile celebrities and realize that triumphs come in all shades? Or better yet, can they leave us alone already?
Regardless of how much or how little attention someone is given, if our lives are not directly benefiting from said attention then what difference does it make in the grand scheme of things? Are those “hollas” on the street, shout-outs in songs, and spotlights in music videos paying the bills of everyday women? I think not. Feeding into colorism is inaccurate and illogical so please do us all a favor and just love the skin you’re in. You never know who might love it too.
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“Brown skin, you know I love your brown skin. I can’t tell where yours begins, I can’t tell where mine ends.”
”I like a long-haired thick red bone, open up her legs then filet mignon that ….”
“When you come wrap them chocolate legs ’round me. Please baby, wrap them chocolate legs ’round me”
“She’s my, redbone girl. A bitter sweet, but she’s my world Coffee cream, thick and lean…”
“So all my redbones get on the floor, and all my yellow bones get on the floor, and all my brown bones get on the floor”
Most likely you’re familiar with at least one of the lyrics above. You’ve probably danced to a line or two when the song came on, and expectantly reveled in the fact that someone was singing a song about you and your skin tone. But in celebrating your lovely shade of brown, be it red, yellow, or tawny, did that mean you were simultaneously knocking those of a different hue?
That’s the criticism singers get whenever they make a song about black women and the many colors of the brown rainbow we come in. It’s one thing when we’re talking about Weezy, who is so far up the red bone tree I’m not even sure he realizes the women he’s been seen with as of late aren’t even light-skinned, they’re just straight up white. But even Eric Benet has felt the heat when he sang admiration for those of a lighter hue. He wasn’t talking about exotic yellow b****es like Wayne, although I’m sure it didn’t help to have him on the track, he was simply admiring his coffee cream, as opposed to the chocolate legs he was in between on the last song. But we all now how ill-received that effort was. Light-skin woman can’t get any shine when it comes to lyrics without an assumption that the songwriter admonishes those who are darker.
It’s not hard to understand. Light-skin women get enough shine as it is, right? Do we really need to shout them out in songs too? I imagine that’s how the criticism goes from those not in said light-bright group as they quickly turn the station to India Arie and think about their gorgeous brown skin against a man with a matching tan. And we know why these songs exist. If magazines, advertisements, television shows, and movies are going to keep acting like the only colors black women come in are honey and caramel, then dammit somebody coffee brown or mahogany is going to make sure somebody knows they love their skin and why. It’s all self-expression and it’s all love — as long as the object of desire has enough pigment to be celebrated.
For some reason we look at all of these songs as some sort of separator, and I’ll be honest when it comes to rap lyrics and what type of chick they want to pop it for a real ninja, there usually is some sort of preference being expressed. But when we’re just shouting out skin tones, color shades and the like as a part of who we are, what’s the problem? Everybody get’s their turn, again maybe not in some rap lyrics, but we can all think of a track where some artist wanted a woman just like us and we promptly shouted “heeyyyyy” to the beat. And if we’re being honest, do you really want to be hypersexualized as a light-skinned woman in a Kanye lyric? Trust me, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be, especially when men in real life think it’s endearing to come up to you and profess their love for light-skin chicks like you’re supposed to be flattered. Get ya life, and some chocolate in it, preferably. But all jokes aside, we know the scales are tipped in the preference category, but there’s still plenty of love to go around and share. There’s a clear difference between derogatory and discriminatory lyrics about skin tone and if we can celebrate the lyrics that praise darker tones right, let’s also be cool with the songs that acknowledge the beauty (not the booty) of lighter tones as well. Plenty of artists have failed to do this correctly, but every now and again someone manages to get it right, sort of.
How do you feel about songs/lyrics on skin tone? Do you like them or prefer people find something else to sing about altogether?
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You know those days when you’re on YouTube and you start out on one video and after about four or five videos you’re like: ”How did I get here?” Well, I had a situation like that last week. I started off watching a video of my sister Kayla singing and ended up at a makeup tutorial video entitled “From Fugly to Fabulous.” Two things occurred to me while watching this video: ”Man, maybe I should revamp my makeup routine from nothing to something, because this lady looks FIERCE!” and second: ”Why is she calling herself “fugly?” She’s beautiful!”
I would like to think that she was being humble and didn’t want to say something like: ”From Beautiful to Mega-ultra beautiful,” but seeing those words made me think of myself as a child.
When I was a little girl living in Alabama, I didn’t realize that I looked different from my siblings until we moved to East St. Louis and we started going to the same school. In this predominately black environment, whenever people saw me with my two older siblings we were always addressed with the same question: ”Why is she so dark? Is that y’all cousin?” ”No, she’s our sister.” ”What? Y’all got different daddies or something?” ”No, we all have the same parents, she’s just darker that’s all.” It continued to happen when we started going to our church as well. People would always recognize my sisters as siblings, but would always ask: ”Why is y’all cousin always with y’all?” Though I was lauded for having hair that draped to my butt, I still felt insignificant because I was too dark. It didn’t help once I got older and started getting crushes but I was denied because the boys that I liked fancied my sisters saying: ”It’s not that you’re ugly, it’s just that they’re so much prettier.” ”Umm… okay…”
I felt so bad about my dark complexion that with my first dollars of allowance that my father gave me, we went to Walmart and when he asked me what I wanted to buy with my money I told him, with my five year old voice, skin bleaching cream. My father who is also dark told me that I was beautiful, and from that day, even until now, his nickname for me is “Dark ‘N’ Lovely.”
My father’s encouragement definitely made me feel good about myself, but something that really touched me was an incident from when I was in high school. I babysat for a few families in my neighborhood, and one of the little girls who was my regular was this green eyed blonde two year old. She and I were coloring with markers and I noticed that she was observing me imitating me to the point that she would place her arms the way that I placed mine. I then saw her take a brown marker and began to color on her arm. ”Jessica*, why would you do that?” She smiled at me and said: ”Now I’m Kendra. I’m beautiful.” Thinking about it now still brings tears to my eyes, but it makes me realize that if a small two year old could see me as beautiful, why shouldn’t I?
It goes beyond a light skin – dark skin thing. It’s about getting to the point that whenever you look in the mirror that you like what you see, and you don’t attack yourself verbally about your perceived imperfections. I have had moments where I didn’t like myself, and even now after having my daughter and trying to lose this extra baby weight, it’s hard not to tear myself apart in the mirror. But I had to teach myself that no matter what, I am beautiful. I feel like I’m finally able to appreciate my looks for what they were. They might not be perfect, but I love me for me, and every woman that I come in contact with is beautiful. No longer feeling like I needed to compare myself to other women, I feel free and I love the freedom of not looking in the mirror and feeling like I’m ugly anymore. I’m me, and hey, I like me! Shoot, love me, actually.
I’m saying all of that to say this, no matter if you look the way that you would like to, and even if you don’t have the remembrance of an authority figure or a little girl’s voice to remind you that you are beautiful, know that you are.
Sometimes people can be so hard on themselves and feel like that because they don’t look a certain way, have a certain shape, or skin tone they don’t look as well. It goes for light skinned and dark skinned girls. (I recently found out that my two older light skinned sisters, who spent a week in Vegas a few years back, spent most of that time tanning, because they always felt that dark skin was beautiful, and they were too light.)
Instead of comparing yourself to someone that you’re not, love yourself for who you are. You are beautiful, and please remember that. So, please don’t be so hard on yourself, and get to loving you for you.
You’re beautiful. Why? Because Kendra Koger tweeted it @kkoger.
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