My Black is beautiful and so am I. Yes, so am I.
But for so many it’s hard to believe that. Different shades of brown, from soft tan to the darkest mahogany struggle to see their own power and beauty that lies within the glow of their skin. We are taught that lighter is better. Lighter and lighter until we are whiter, but that thought is not right and that’s not fair to us and the next generation. They are missing out on the important lesson that black is beautiful. Not just dark skinned girls, but light as well. I feel we need to look beyond the thought that because someone is lighter she’s better or she’s dark so she’s ugly. Black is beautiful. Every shade of the spectrum is a shade of beautiful.
It’s a lesson I was forced to learn the hard way. It was after an ex told me that if it wasn’t for my personality I would have been over looked for dating because I am too dark. I was left contemplating what is too dark? And why would my being too dark be an issue to a person who was darker than me? I mean I am about a medium brown when it’s not summer. This had me thinking for months. Is there something wrong with my skin? Luckily my mother, who has been my body and beauty advocate since forever replied, “No, your skin’s perfect, you’re 19 and you don’t break out ever and you have the most gorgeous brown skin I ever made, god is pleased, so should you”. That was that for a while for me until I was introduced to the documentary Dark Girls by Bill Duke and D. Channsin Berry. Seeing the bias in our own culture opened my eyes. If you haven’t had the chance to see it, I suggest you watch it soon.
It’s hard enough having society as whole pushing a different standard of beauty on young beautiful brown skinned girls. Keeping old fires and stereotypes going helps no one and keeps us divided. Above all it hurts us and this hurt is passed down through the generations. We need to be helping to create strong women who see that their beauty isn’t in just their skin shade but their brain, drive and creativity. They need to feel that they were made perfectly and should be celebrated no matter where on the shade spectrum they fall. All shades are beautiful. All black is beautiful and as a culture and family we need to remind our young girls of that.
I am happy seeing more businesses embrace the different shades of African American women. The line Nubian Skin has lingerie and shape-wear for women of all shades of beautiful brown. That is one step to helping us to see every shade as beautiful. It’s important that we see more images of beautiful women of all shades that are comfortable in their skin out there so when little girls look in a magazine they see more wonderful images that look like them and can feel proud.
So don’t forget, your black is beautiful, and so are you.