Rise Women Rise: Kierra

Guest Story by Kierra

It took me 16 years to realize that my black was beautiful. I have embraced the fact that indeed my black was BEAUTIFUL for almost four years now. This skin I was in for so many years determined my self worth and esteem. I had so many factors “against” me in my mind– I was a tall, lanky, dark skinned girl with a gap tooth smile and a head full a kinky curly hair. Growing up, the only role model that I had was my mother, a beautiful brown and deep complexion. Its amazing how I could find beauty in my mothers complexion but not my own.

One of the most prominent memories of my childhood is that dreaded phrase “Ohhhh, she is so cute for a dark skinned little girl”. People spoke as if I wasn’t in the room, as if I couldn’t hear– that phrase still haunts me to this day. From a young age, I felt the stigma that my black wasn’t good enough; I buried myself in books to stay away from the mirror. I knew that my education would and could take me further than my looks. It wasn’t until I got to college at age 16 that I officially decided to fix my deep rooted issue fixated within my deep complexion.

I stopped watching TV, immersed myself in images of black people and was happy with my decision to matriculate at a HBCU ( Coppin State University ). I came to a breaking point– I had, for 16 years, been brainwashed to subscribe to the European standaard of beauty. I no longer accept this standard, because I set my own. My black is beautiful– from the fullness of my lips, the wideness of nose, the intensity of my eyes and the hue of my complexion. And anyone that doesn’t like it…well….too bad. Its here to stay, I refuse to conform to their standard of beauty and they can set their sights elsewhere. PS. There are plenty of beautiful dark skinned women– too bad our men have their heads turned so poignantly to the fair skinned woman that they don’t even notice.

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The Dark Girls Movie- Rise  Women Rise Campaign seeks to share their stories of healing, empowerment, and triumph. We know this issue goes beyond the United States and Black people. This is for ALL women from around the world. If you have a written story or video, please submit here.

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One Response to Rise Women Rise: Kierra

  1. Kierra, I smiled at the similarities between your story and mine: tall, skinny, gapped teeth, and overplayed intellect because it was the one edge I had on everyone else.

    Your point about not watching TV (boycotting other forms of media as well) and immersing yourself in positive black images, and receiving an Afrocentric education is a great way of battling this illness.

    Much love,

    Sarah

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