Writing this article hits home for me personally. I am a Ghanaian and a young dark skin woman. Growing up I was always taunted at school due to my course hair texture, full lips, large nose, and dark skin.
At one point as a young teenager; I disliked myself and tried to secretly bleach because I did not fit into the norm of beauty in the American society. I stopped bleaching quickly after realizing the health risks.
Light skinned girls were always favored in society as well as chased by boys no matter if they were beautiful or not. I never understood this complex enterprise.
At one point I tried out for modeling because I fit the description for height and weight. During auditions, I was ushered into next rounds however, upon final decisions, I was told I am model material but my skin tone was not ‘in’ for the season. I always got upset but my mother angrily screamed at them in Twi.
Entering college was worse. I attended a predominately African American university so I thought my image would be more accepted. I was wrong. Instead many African American and African men and women would tell me “You are so beautiful…for a dark skin girl!”.
I was completely dumbfounded. I did not know how to respond to that because I did not think this would be an issue at a Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU). Nevertheless, at that point in my life, how I viewed myself had been transformed so my self-esteem and self-worth was intact.
Surprisingly enough, I was always complimented by Caucasian people for my blemish free, even skin tone. Caucasian men and women would always stop to ask my secret for maintaining a healthy even glow, full beautiful hair, and defined facial features and body. I simply told them that I am African; I drink lots of water, use shea butter for my skin, exercise, and eat healthy. Their responses were “You are so beautiful! Period!”.
As life went on, at the workplace, light skin African American and sometimes African women would approach me and tell me how they wish they were like me. Again I was struck.
All this time as a teenager, I wanted to be like them and come to find out they want to be like me…I asked why? In response they would admit that the darker skin women are exotic, beautiful, and free from skin diseases such as melanoma and even aging.
In conclusion, I love myself regardless of what society thinks is beautiful. I am proud to say that I am a gorgeous and proud African woman loving my beautiful skin. What are your thoughts? Are you a dark skin woman and loving it?
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