“I thought light skinned girls were prettier, because I was always the black, ugly girl”
This was a quote from a young teen on a video I randomly ran across via Facebook. The video then continues as the young woman is sitting in front of a group of about 12 or 13 other young ladies. They further began to ask her “Who told you you were ugly?” “What’s ugly about you?” and proceeded to shower the beauty with compliments. The video was heartfelt for two reasons; they were all young and they were self aware enough to know how to pore into one another. It pushed tears to the rim of my eyes and I could feel that familiar tightness of hurt in the back of my throat. The one when you’re fighting back the tears? Yes, that one. I was hurt because for whatever reason chocolate women have a difficult time believing that we’re just as beautiful, talented, and worthy as others.
I’m fully in the know that colorism definitely exists. However, I like to think that’s always subjective. The first darker woman I found myself fawning over was Anita Baker. Her voice took me and when I got into her features I was here for her. Then came Naomi Campbell. Pocahontas was my Disney movie, later followed by Aladdin because Princess Jasmine’s almond eyes and butter pecan complexion made me proud of my own.
The video brought back harsh memories of how I felt around girls who I felt were prettier than me. The girls with big butts were my krypton. I’ve never been the tallest and I have a decent shape for my size but I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t seek validation from my photos. Everybody wants to feel beautiful. And it is ever so true what they say, no matter what people tell you, how you feel about you takes precedence. I wasn’t born with wide hips. That made me crave them. The figure 8 was all I needed to kill the game according to me. I went to the gym to learn whatever exercise I could to have them and make them stand out. I was crushed when I found out the hips are a bone, meaning if you weren’t born with it, you won’t have it.
My biggest insecurity to date sits right on my face. I can SORT OF laugh at it now because I’m working on getting it fixed, but growing up it was hell. I honestly can’t even believe I’m typing it. But my mantra to my supporters outside of following your dreams has always been to live your truth. It has to start with me though. I hate my teeth. I always have. They have noticeable spaces in between them and the left one in the front is crooked. Not chipped, but turned out. I HATE it. I never smile in photos, if I have too much of a laugh I’ve trained myself to cover my mouth, and I try not to talk too close to people so they don’t see the imperfections.
Battling that in addition to being dark and slim-thick, where light and super thick is preferred has been turmoil since I was a child. But I had to learn. I grew up watching America’s Next Top Model and that’s what I thought I wanted to do for the rest of my life. But I shied away from it because I had convinced myself she wouldn’t want me, look at these teeth. As I continued to mature I was very into the media. What models were hot was my focus and they were almost always my complexion. My mother is the most perfect shade of brown and all of my favorite celebrities are my complexion and darker. Not because of what I’ve taught myself in self love, but just because they are naturally bad.
Please don’t take this article as a shot to fair skinned women because it isn’t and I’m sure some of you may battle your own minds, but my black is beautiful. I fell in love with Tyra Banks & Naomi Campbell at the same time. They made me love my slanted eyes, my high cheeks bones, this chiseled jaw line plus my cocoa. And I’m still embracing currently. Kerry Washington made me love my full lips and Meagan Good made it alright to not have hips and deep Hennessy colored brown eyes.
I said all that to say, I know that television may have made us chocolate girls seem less than before and now since natural hair is a fad we’re mystical creatures to the media. But regardless to all that look just like me and the young women in the video, if you’re a black girl ,YOU ROCK! Tell ‘em Rie said so if they ask questions!
(No shade to other races, a lot of them are black too they just don’t know it 😋)
The Storie Will Be Televised