People always tell me “ You’re so naturally beautiful”. Although you may assume that, I feel otherwise. I feel very unattractive at times. I have a list of insecurities just like many women.
Here is my story…
In elementary school I was told that I was ugly by a boy of lighter complexion. He also stated that nobody liked girls with darker complexion. It didn’t really hurt my feelings at the time. So I didn’t really take it personal. I wasn’t concerned with thinking negative thoughts at that time.
In middle school I ended up experiencing a much worst experience. I was harassed by other black females. They would harass me because they knew that I was mentally weaker than them. I was quiet and I wasn’t much of a trouble maker. I didn’t want any beef with them so I hung around a bunch of Latina girls. They didn’t judge me and they accepted me for who I was. They didn’t care that I was darker, they liked me because I was nice and good to them.
The other black girls were so mean and judgmental. I remember I was minding my business and one of the mean black girls, of lighter complexion said “isn’t it funny how Shakiema lips doesn’t match her face? Her lips are big and pink, it takes up half of her face. Doesn’t she look weird, almost like a fish?”
I also remember going home later that day and crying my eyes out. I have never felt so embarrassed in my life. All of a sudden, that whole week I became the target of verbal abuse. The mean black girls began to tease and harass me on a daily basis. The first day, they teased me for my big pink lips. The second day, they teased me for my wide nose and nostrils. The third day, they teased me for my dark skin. This made me feel absolutely horrible. So horrible that I even contemplated committing suicide. I no longer wanted to be in that type of negative environment.
At that time, they thought those words were harmless. They wasn’t aware that those words would forever haunt me. Those harsh words did haunt me, it haunted me for years. I began to hate my skin complexion. I began to hate my parents for giving me their dark complexion. It really harmed my self-confidence. I began to think that I was ugly.
I remember a teacher asked us “What do you want to be when you’re older?” Personally, I’ve always wanted to be a model. So I wrote it on a piece of paper that I wanted to become a model. I remember one of the mean girls looked at my paper and said “Oh no, girl. You can’t be a model, you better scratch that off”. I looked puzzled and asked “Why not?” She chuckled and replied, “You’re way too dark”. Hearing those words completely crushed me.
At the age of 13 I began to gain a small ounce of confidence to start taking modeling serious, to prove those bitches wrong! That was what my heart really desired. I started to research how to become a model. At the age of 14 I did my first photo shoot with my older brother, Fresh Pixx Photography. (You can check out his portfolio here: www.FreshPixxPhotography.com). Working with him completely changed my life.
When I was 15 I was walking with a ‘friend’ and some random guy stopped us.
“You’re so beautiful, are you African?” he asked me.
I was extremely shy, I smiled and politely replied “Thank you. I’m African American, I’m not sure about my background. I don’t actually know where my family is from”.
“Maybe you should build a family tree because I truly believe you’re African. You’re extremely beautiful, I hope you do find out your heritage” he responded and walked away.
My ‘friend’ began to laugh as if it was a funny joke.
“What happened?” I asked.
“He said that you look African” she laughed once again.
I didn’t seem to catch on to the joke, if there was even a joke. I took it as a compliment. She made it seem like it was a complete insult. She laughed about it for a few weeks. That made me begin to feel ashamed and embarrassed.
As the years began to go by and as I began to get older, almost twice a week, someone would stop me and ask “Are you African?” My friend found that hilarious. She would make hurtful jokes and insulting remarks about it. That made my confidence level go wayyyyyyyyyyyyy down. The feeling of hating my dark skin began to resurface. The ounce of confidence I once had was now gone.
I slowly began to realize that my ‘friend’ was not a true friend. Friends don’t make other friends feel bad or sad. They are supposed to uplift you and be supportive. So long story short, we ended up falling out. Thankfully we did because nothing but positivity has surrounded me ever since.
I began to start taking my modeling more serious. I began to network with a series of photographers. I’m currently still modeling today. I want to show the world that dark skin women are beautiful. Your skin tone is beautiful and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. I’ve had folks tell me “You’re beautiful for a dark skin girl”. THAT IS NOT A COMPLIMENT, IT IS EXTREMELY OFFENSIVE AND I TAKE IT AS AN INSULT!
‘You’re beautiful for a dark skin girl’ is a highly offensive comment. Why didn’t you just say “You’re beautiful”? I highly doubt that you go around saying to a light skin female that she’s beautiful for a light skin girl. So do not tell me that I’m beautiful for a dark skin girl. Every woman of every shade is beautiful, so why do you go around bashing women with darker skin tones? Why does society constantly bash darker women? Why is it so difficult for society to accept (US) darker females?
It’s already hard out here being black but being a black dark skin woman in today’s society, we just get dogged out and shitted on. We don’t get the respect that we deserve. I’m honestly FED up! No more bashing (US) darker females. I also find it hilarious how most of these offensive comments are made by other black people.
I’m here to make a change, not only for darker females but for black people from all over. Society bashes us enough, so please stop bashing one another. So it’s about time we make a stand and say that we’re all beautiful. It’s about time we actually let each other know it and believe it. WE ARE ALL BEAUTIFUL. Stop singling out just the women of lighter tones when darker women are just as beautiful. Have you ever heard the saying “The blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice”?
Being harassed at such a young age has helped shape me into this strong young beautiful black woman that I am today. It has also inspired me to become “the melanin gawddess”. I hope that my personal experience and my words of wisdom will inspire other black women from all over. You’re beautiful and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.