Loving the Skin I’m In!

I grew up in an environment that breeded low self-esteem. As I grew older, I realized that it wasn’t intentional; however, the damage was done. And needed to be undone.

I remember being 18 years old, standing at 5’3, weighing no more than 110lbs soaking wet- looking in the mirror and hating the person that looked back at me. My face had acne, my body was too skinny, my lips were too big, and my butt wasn’t big enough. I fixed the glasses issue when I started wearing contacts. This was the mindset that I had growing up, and the teasing and joking from friends and family (although completely innocent) only added on to the insecurities that were already there. Fast forward 8 years and add on heartbreak, anger, being cheated on, and a failed attempt at marriage. I was a wreck-emotionally and spiritually. And it manifested in my self-image. I kept making one bad mistake after another, after another. And it finally reached a point where I had a complete meltdown.

I had to take a break from life- family, friends, my kids- and work on me. It was unwanted, but extremely necessary. I had to find out why I was so angry, why I was so hurt, what made me so damaged. I never actually figured out all of these things, but I did find my peace. Through God. I know- it sounds sooooo cliché, but that’s what happened for me. I plunged into my bible, prayed every hour, and just told God “listen- I can’t take this anymore. So, like, you gotta fix this bruh cuz this right here ain’t working for me!” Or something like that (emoji!!!) And slowly, I forgave myself and all of the people who I felt slighted me. And guess what happened? My acne face became beautiful. My raisin stomach became acceptable. My skinny frame because goddess-like. Transforming my mind and emotions transformed how I viewed myself.

The funny thing is, people do not tell you how to love yourself. Or, how to keep up with loving yourself. It was an extensive process to love God enough to love myself enough. And it’s a fight to wake up everyday still loving myself. With other people’s opinions, society telling black women what they should look like, and our own personal opinions of what we should look like- being in love with yourself takes a lot of work. It’s a wonder that more parents don’t teach their children (especially girls) that we NEED to love ourselves unconditionally before we allow a man (or woman) to try to love us. It makes a world of a difference! My relationships with people period is so different now, let alone my relationships with men. Falling in love with myself gives off some sort of respect and QUEEN vibe cuz now…. They don’t even approach me if their lives aren’t together. Every guy that sends their affection my way wants commitment with marriage on the table. Reconditioning my mind and spirit has changed my life. I love who looks back at me in the mirror. I love my imperfect body. I love my flaws. They make me unique and amazing. I’ve always loved my skin tone; thinking back on it now, that was never an issue for me.

Piggy backing from my last post, skin tone is something that affects every black community, in every culture. I recently came across an article which said that females in Jamaica were bleaching their skin to become lighter. The rapper Lil Kim and the late pop star Micheal Jackson are just some examples of this. Low self-esteem is a killer, and it goes by unnoticed. It manifests itself is so many ugly ways, and causes us to do ugly things to ourselves. Every shade of black is beautiful. From the extremely fair skin, to the extremely dark one. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL! And no, just telling yourself that isn’t enough. You need to teach your mind, your heart, and your spirit that you are beautiful. Change your environment, educate yourself on love and acceptance. You are not and will never be perfect, and that is what makes you perfect. Your imperfections define you- freckles, moles, beauty marks, slanted eyes, an oval face, a broad nose, and pointy ears. Embrace it. You can change it, but it wouldn’t change the way that you see yourself. You’ll just find something else wrong. So instead of changing everything on the outside, change everything on the inside. You’ll see a completely different person looking back at you in the mirror.

I cannot change the world, but I can definitely change myself and my household. I teach my children that they are amazing. The word “can’t” is not allowed in my house, because my little ones CAN do ANYTHING. They just have to try. Their fair complexion does not get them a pass in life (but their beauty does. Whether or not I like it, beautiful people have more opportunities. And my kids are BEAUTIFUL!!!!! Lol!). They have to work just as hard as anyone else to get what they want. BUT- mommy will teach them to love themselves, and to love each other. That simple act will lead and guide them through every relationship (both platonic and emotional), and shape them to be happy and healthy adults. It took waaaaaaaaay to long for me to learn to love myself. But now that I am here, I can’t ever go back.

I love me enough….!

Until next time, tootles! xoxoxo

“You are so pretty for a dark skinned girl!”

So, funny story. A few weeks ago, my daughter came up to me and asked me what color was my skin. I told her that mommy is chocolate. She proceeded to tell me that her skin was lighter than mines, and her cousins was lighter than hers. After we identified and discussed the different shades of our blackness, I told her “but we are all beautiful, right?” Her response “yea, we are. But, I’m still lighter than you mommy!” My daughter is 3..

Skin tone and color has reared its ugly head and become a huge issue within the black community. There is a light skin, brown skin, and dark skin complex amongst both the male and female community. Which to me is actually crazy, until  I think about my preference of the men that I date.

I really do not like it when people (especially the older generations) tell me that I am pretty for a “dark-skinned” girl. First of all, I am almost 30 and I have 2 children. I am a woman, thank you! Secondly, I am pretty-PERIOD! Not in spite of me being a darker complexion. And I’m not even that dark- if you put me next to a milk chocolate candy bar, I match up perfectly. Which means I probably taste just as good. I’m just saying…. There are a million and one reasons that the black community has for why they believe that the lighter complexed people are more “sought after” or “more desirable” than the darker skinned population. Going back to slavery, and slaves being raped, and whatever what have you. That’s all fine and good, but shouldn’t that equate to status and not beauty? And why is it that someone who is lighter than me is also more beautiful than I? SOLELY BECAUSE THEY ARE LIGHTER! I have never understood that logic amongst the black community. Beauty should not be defined by complexion it should be defined by actual physical attributes. I know plenty of light-skinned women who are not pretty, just as I know plenty of dark-skinned women are not pretty. And let’s not get started on the black people that they put on tv….

So, if I am being completely honest, I subconsciously fall under that category as well. While I do not have a particular “type” when it comes to dating men, I have noticed that I prefer lighter complexed men over darker ones. Why, I do not know. But, I also prefer tall men over short, and fit men over… let’s call them husky. But, I have dated them all. And I would date them all again. Put me in a dark room with 5 men: I will choose the one with the deepest baritone, with the softest (and biggest) hands, and who smells amazing. And he would probably not be my type with the lights on. Lol! But let me see a line up of 10 men, and I will more than likely gravitate to someone shades lighter than me. But it’s not because one is more attractive than the other- I have met some fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine ass chocolate brothers in my life. And some even fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiner dark skin men. Just thinking about it is making me a bit sweaty. To me, one is not better, more attractive, or more desirable than the other. It’s just a preference; because I will take a tall, dark chocolate, sexy brother over an average light skin one any day!

So, my point? I am beautiful- not because my complexion is chocolate, but because my lips are full, my eyes are deep, my face is beautifully crafted, my hair is lustrous, my hips are curved, my ass is fat, and my legs are long and lean. My physique is sexy, my face is attractive, and my complexion is just the icing on the cake. I am beautiful, despite being a dark-skinned woman!