Thursday, June 18, 2015

My Black is Beautiful-A Sister's Journey

Have you ever felt like you didn’t’ fit in because you were too dark or not light enough? When you grow up with siblings that don’t look like you and tease you because you’re darker or lighter than them, it does something to your self-esteem and your spirit. You find yourself with an identity crisis as a black woman.

Growing up, I had an aunt that did the brown paper bag test when you became of age to start dating. Now, this sounds cruel because what you are teaching your nieces and daughters is to not bring home a man any darker than the brown paper bag. You remember the brown paper bag, right? She was a stickler for making her point that if you dated someone darker than a brown paper bag, your babies would be ugly because he or she would be dark skinned.
Photo Credits: Black Beautiful Women Tumblr
I am a beautiful brown skinned woman that struggled as a pre-teen thru my young adult years with my skin color. Because some people in the family said I was not light enough. For years, I thought my complexion was ugly and that I had too many moles and freckles under my eyes. It affects your self-esteem and you find yourself putting a cap full of bleach in your bath water as a teen-ager trying to lighten your skin. It causes you to stereotype yourself when dating, sticking to the rule of he must be lighter than the brown paper bag to make light skinned babies. So, I never dated anyone darker than a brown paper bag from my teen years through my late 20’s going into my 30’s. That is when reality checked in, or in the famous words of Tyler Perry’s Medea, "The light bulb went off." 

It was when I became a mother of this beautiful little girl that I refused to teach or allow her to have a color complex within her own race. I didn’t’ want her to experience what I went through growing up as a black woman thinking she was too dark or not light enough. It was time for me to teach self-love and that being any shade of black is beautiful. So, I began to teach and let my daughter know she is a beautiful black girl who is perfect just the way God designed her to be. Black is beautiful in all shades. Whether you’re light skinned, Carmel, chocolate, brown skinned, or dark chocolate are the labels our family members give us. It’s time to eliminate the labels.

Tell your daughters that their skin color is beautiful at an early age and let them know they are uniquely designed and made in love thru God’s eyes. Let her know those freckles in her face are beauty marks from her rich heritage. Tell her the dimples she have showcase her intellectual smile. Let her know that the shape of her eyes marks the inner beauty from inside out and they are bridges to wisdom. Remind her that she has a unique DNA that makes a beautiful girl blossom into a beautiful black woman.

Teach your daughters that their skin is beautiful and flawless. There is no need to bleach your skin to live up to society or even ignorant family standards of what makes a black woman beautiful. It’s time to break the cycle of feeling too dark or not light enough. It’s time to teach our daughters, sisters, and friends that Black is Beautiful.

Black is beautiful in all shades, shapes, and sizes. We are all beautifully created in God’s eyes. We are wonderful masterpieces in a beautiful puzzle neatly designed and crafted by the most high.