About a month or so ago, I was standing at the bus stop in the rain on my way to work. It wasn’t raining hard, just a light drizzle and it was a tad bit nippy. A beautiful young lady with an umbrella named Stacy walked up and said “here stand under with me”. She then began to ask me for directions (SN*: seems weird since I’m still learning my way around NY). We started talking. She started telling me how she recently came from Guyana and she didn’t like the cold weather. She then said, “I can’t wait for the summer, so I can get a tan. I want to be a little lighter. Like your complexion.” Now I didn’t want to kill her dream by telling her that the sun is only going to make her darker, instead I said, “Why? Your skin tone is beautiful!” From the look on her face I can tell that wasn’t something she was used to hearing. And I wasn’t just saying it for the hell of it, I really meant it. She had beautiful, pimple-free, smooth, glowing, dark chocolate skin with a beautiful smile to match. We chit chatted until she got off at her stop and I began to think; 1- she was very kind (that will be a future blog), and 2- it’s amazing how people still are, for lack of better word, ashamed of their skin color. To this day, black people still bleach their skin thinking it will make them look better. Some sistas still perm their hair because they think it will make the, look more beautiful. They believe their naturally curly hair is ugly. Why do we still consider our natural state ugly? Why are some many black people still ashamed of their beautiful melanin-enriched coverings?
A few years ago, Proctor and Gamble started a campaign called My Black Is Beautiful.You can say what you want about P&G, but I think it a wonderful campaign. They have tours, a TV show, a lot of different things with that one goal in mind, stressing that fact that Black is Beautiful. And it is needed more than ever. One of the reasons we have issues with our skin color IS because of media. We have been told for centuries that blacker you are, the uglier you are. We’ve all heard the saying, “If you’re white you’re alright; If you’re brown stick around; If you’re black stay back.” We may laugh at it now, but that mindset has been engraved in our subconscious and continues to affect us generation after generation. It’s in our songs, on the billboards, and on the TV. Like I said, media plays a HUGE part in the problem, so it’s only right that they participate in the solution, and I think “My Black is Beautiful” has started doing that.
Also, we need to teach our young girls that their black is beautiful. A lot of these images and misconceptions are fed to our daughters at a young age and it travels with them throughout their life, and then passed on to the next generation. We must teach out daughter to love themselves.
And in the process of teaching others to love themselves, we have to remember to love ourselves. Life lessons are best taught by example, and if we show others that we love ourselves, not by being conceited, but by not being ashamed of who we are. That is where the healing begins.
Stay tuned for another moment in the life………………………….
*SN : side note