It took a long time before I was comfortable in my skin. As a black woman, society has placed many labels on me. They think because of my brown skin, I am aggressive, mean, sassy, confrontational, and the list goes on.

For so long I accepted that and agreed to it. In middle school and early years of high school, I experienced name calling and stereotypes for the first time. I always held my tongue in those situations, because I wasn’t sure what to respond. I wasn’t sure how I felt and I wasn’t sure if I was offended.

I was ashamed of my kinky hair. I was ashamed of the dark dots on my legs. I was ashamed of my dark underarms. I was ashamed of my big lips. I was ashamed of my wide hips. My female classmates were tall, skinny, and small-breasted and I was the exact opposite of that. Why did I have to be that person that looked different from everyone else? I remember praying at night for God to change my body, my structure, my frame.

Black is beautiful

College changed all of that for me and that is one of the main reasons why I am so thankful to attend the university that I do.

I met black women who were so proud of who they were. They were proud of their background, their heritage, their family. They always spoke so positively of where their family came from and how they made it to the United States. It was incredibly inspiring. They had no sense of shame and if they did, they did a damn good job of hiding it.

I started doing research. I asked my immediate family more about our family history. I started following pro-black social media accounts. There would be days that I would read online posts of black women talking about how much they loved their skin and I would become very emotional. Very few times had people even said that to me, so to see a whole community promoting self-love was so incredible to me.

Me promoting pro-blackness and believing that black lives matter does not equate to me “hating white people” or “hating other races.” When a white individual loves themselves, it is accepted but when a black individual promotes self-love it’s seen as abrasive. I love my people and love my skin.

To all my brown sisters out there:

The world has so much to say about you. As a black woman, society wants to see you fail. They want you to be apart of a negative statistic. They expect you to talk ghetto, have a ghetto name and dress proactively. They expect you to flunk your classes, date a bad boy and have ugly hair.

It saddens me the most when I hear black men talk negatively on black women. Those are your sisters, so who are you to say such things? When a black male speaks down on a black female, they are inferring the same things about their mother, grandmother, or aunt. Did you ever think of that?

I challenge you to change society’s perspective of black women. Become a women of power, success, and love. Embrace your skin and love your skin. There is nothing sexier than loving yourself. Educate yourself and educate your peers, because we could all use a little #blackgirlmagic

Do you know how lucky you are to be born with brown skin?

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