Love The Skin You’re In – by Delina Hill-Brooker

My four year old daughter and I were driving in the car. (Seems like we are always driving in the car). And just as random as most things from her are, she said, “Mommy I don’t like being dark brown. I want to be light brown like you.” Immediately my feelings were hurt. “What do you mean? You are beautiful and perfect just the way God made you.”

“I think that God made a mistake. I want to be light brown like you and the boys.”

My mind started to race. Where did I go wrong? I have her in a school of predominately Black and African teachers and students. I am the person who posts a black history fact on Facebook everyday. How can my beautiful child not like the color of her skin?

I’ve never considered myself to be light brown, I’m just brown. My husband is dark skinned, the boys are light, but she is not dark brown either. She may be a shade darker then me. My sister explained to me that it’s normal for a little girl to look up to and want to be like her mother. My mother is light skinned. She was much lighter when we were growing up and I used to think that she was white, but I never wanted to be her color.

I remember my high school days when light skinned was ‘in.’ That’s all I dated, but I don’t think that I have a preference on light or dark skin. A friend asked me a while ago if I had ever dated a Caucasian before. I told her no, but it wasn’t because of their skin color. I was not interested in the Caucasians that were interested in me.

It upsets me that even in this day in age when we think that we have come so far, we really have a long way to go. Some parts of society still see dark as dirty or less then and white or light skinned privileged. Somehow this ugly mindset has been buried deep in our psyche. It’s going to take longer to reverse it, then it took to put it in there.

The whole process of trying to convince my daughter that she is beautiful just the way she is got me to thinking even outside of the color spectrum. How many little girls feel the same way? How many adults are uncomfortable in their own skin? What is it in all of us that wish that a certain part of us could be different? Where does that stem from? If you have ‘nappy’ hair you want it straight, if you have straight hair you want it curly. If you have short hair, you want a weave, thin lips you want botox, big lips a lip reduction, big breast, small breast. It goes on and on and on.

In our fast pace society it’s so easy to do a quick nip tuck, bleach, tan, perm or weave. Will we ever be able to just be how we were born to be? I am in no means against plastic surgery, weaves, tanning, perms etc. I love that I can choose to get a perm or not, but some things should not be changed, and skin color is one of them.

We are all a part of the human race, and are more alike then we are different. We need to teach our children to love their skin as well as others. God made us different for a reason.

Not to brag, but my daughter is nothing less then beautiful. I will keep reaffirming her as well as pointing out the beauty in others.

Do you love the skin you’re in?

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