Note From a Brown Girl: If you don’t, they can’t... #SELFLOVE
So often I hear others make statements regarding color. Sadly enough, it's a constant conversation regarding shade in my community. Why is this? When does it stop? When does beauty, and really acceptance, exist without stipulations among those we love?
I have never been one to make color or shade a topic of everyday conversation, but when I became a mother, it was even more important for me to monitor the words that escaped my lips. The terms and sayings we utter continue the cycle of making our children (a new generation) feel subpar if they don't fit a certain standard those before us have created. A feeling that continues to repeat itself time and time again. Words can build and tarnish just the same. I will never forget the day my son came to me after spending time over to a family member's home and said, "mommy, you're really pretty but I think you would be prettier if you were lighter. Then you could fit in with us." Those words sunk to the bottom of my soul and took me all the way back to childhood when so many would make it seem as though my features, hair and overall beauty was wasted on the like of a brown-skinned girl. As if I wasn't deserving due to my hue. He had no idea what he was really saying but up until that point, me fitting amongst my family, that I created, was never a question. This happens all too often in family settings and community circles. Why does this continue to happen? How can we change this? How can we be examples of love and acceptance for our future generations? Our hue doesn't make us more or less deserving of love, admiration, well-treatment, equality and/or acceptance.
While this was a fleeting moment, for many, this is a way of life. So many times, we create divides and stipulations all while simultaneously chipping at our children's self esteem without realizing its effects. This is mostly due to ignorance and repeating behaviors that have prevented us from loving ourselves the way WE should. If we don't [love ourselves], they can't [love themselves].
I challenge every mom and dad, regardless of color or shade to pay attention to all that you speak around, with and to your kids regarding appearance and how it reflects (and measures up) in their worth. These are the seeds that breed hate for others and even worse; hate for ourselves. Find the breakdown and repair it. It's not history if it keeps repeating itself. This is a "note to shelf". Shelf these ideals and negative behaviors. Acceptance is first-learned at home. We cannot expect equal treatment if we, ourselves, divide. Let's be aware to repair so all skin is loved, so the content of character can take centerstage. -xo #selflove