The blacker the berry, the sweeter th…..you know the rest.
Let me start by saying that there is nothing more phenomenal than that dark, chocolaty skin. It’s like no other. No, literally, it’s like no other! What other pigment glistens in the sun, tans so effortlessly, and ages like, again I say, no other. That melanin doe! Nothing is more dope than the silkiness of that honey-like, caramel-like and fudge-like skin.
Sad enough though, I didn’t always appreciate what God had blessed me with. I didn’t always like the skin that I was in. I lowkey hated that I took after my mom and I got her complexion. Needless to say, I wasn’t here for it.
When I crept out of that womb, I was dark. I was blessed from the second I moonwalked out of my mama’s vag, and I didn’t even know it. I was just a tiny [actually really chubby] baby. Who knew that I had what people spent thousands of dollars on to have.
Even in elementary school, I couldn’t grasp it. I was always one of the darkest girls in my classroom, so naturally I was teased. I was called all types of names. Chile, I have heard it all. Kids are cruel. It was easy to believe that I wasn’t beautiful because I wasn’t high-yellow. So, in elementary school, I believed I was less than. I didn’t feel like I was ugly, just not as pretty as the light-skin girls. I carried that with me through middle school too. It didn’t matter how many strangers would stop me throughout my childhood and say “Oh my goodness, you have such pretty skin.” I still didn’t see it.
It wasn’t until I got to the summer going into my 10th grade year of high school that I started to think, “Hmmm, I’m fine.” Ok, that sounded a bit conceited but I wasn’t, I promise. Anyway, I went just about my entire life thinking that being dark skin was a bad thing, but that summer, my entire perspective on that changed. I remember starting my first job. I was a lifeguard [yes, black people can swim and can swim well] working at a water park in Detroit. It wasn’t until I had to stand in the hot sun 50 hours a week and turn 3 shades darker, that I realized that this was beautiful as fuck.
When I tanned, I turned a color that I describe as “golden-black.” I was dark, like really chocolate but the hairs on my skin would turn this gold color. I can’t really explain it, just know it was dope. Not only that, but the guys were noticing. Just about every guy who worked there tried to “talk” to me. My nickname became “Chocolate.” I start feeling myself. It wasn’t just the attention I got from guys, because I’m sure my thick thighs and curves did most of that, but I finally started to see how attractive that thing called melanin really was.
So, the summer of 10th grade year was enlightening for me. Sure, I still had insecurities, I was a 15-year-old girl, but my complexion was no longer at the top of the list. You couldn’t tell me nothing. I wore my natural color on my sleeves. When I got to college, it was really over. I was hella black, hella proud.
About 3 years ago, I was around 22, there was a girl who didn’t like me, because she was now dating my ex. Go. Figure. She would try to call me every “dark” name in the book. She tried hard too. Even went out of her way to insult me. Little did she know that I was proud in my skin. So, her shade [or lack thereof] didn’t bother me. It would’ve worked had I been about 13,14. But she was just too little, too late.
I think it’s so sad how we try to bring each other down as black people. At some point we have to fight for each other, there are already too many people fighting against us. No matter the shade, we’re all still [dare I say it] black. It wasn’t the white kids at school who would make fun of my skin tone, it was the black kids. We’re so cruel to one another.
It took me until the age of 15 to recognize my beauty. Sad thing is, it takes some people even longer. There are some folks older than what I am right now, walking around hating who they are and how they look. It’s disturbing to think about. I’ve read stories about people bleaching their skin and permanently changing their eye color and I really just can’t wrap my head around it. Why? Why would you take something as gorgeous as black skin, and ruin it? I guess I get it, I was once lost too, but I couldn’t imagine being any other way.
Don’t get me wrong, I love all people. I think all people are beautiful. However, when it comes to my people, chile, I’ve never seen a more beautiful sight. From the high-yellow, to the dark chocolate, we are so sexy! Who else can look 35 at 65? Nobody? Oh. That’s what I thought. We’re beautiful. God took His time when He made us. Value that melanin you little black baby, own it. You’re dope.
I was inspired to write this after reading about a photo shoot by Chandler Easley that showcased just how beautiful black people are. All he did was put black women of all shades in front of colors and the pictures did the talking. See more here.