Why would I apply bleach to that dark skin? It is a psychological tug of war. Should I or should I not apply skin lightening cream? How could I don such a skin, for heaven’s sake, a dark skin and still be beautiful? How could I be beautiful if I am darker this dark skinned?
Does black still stand for evil, ugly, a freak of nature? Does my black skin mean that I am a lesser woman? Dear Dark skinned women, my sisters out there; I have been waging a psychological war. A war that was all about deprecating the person I am. A journey, an odyssey that had all the makings of fear, vanity and the eventual self-acceptance that I finally came to. The media and the glamorous magazines I have been reading almost always without fail glamorize light skin. I harbor no hard feelings for my light skinned sisters. I believe that they are beautiful too.
I was born dark skinned. My mother bore a dark skinned daughter. Somewhere along the way, I was socialized in a manner that made me believe that I was not beautiful just because of my skin colour. Along the way, as I sought my Identity I had been made to believe that I was a lesser woman. I hated myself, I abhorred, literary loathed the colour of my skin. My age mates made fun of me. I hated the ‘black mamba’ nickname they gave me.
Growing up was hell, it was hades, it was Gehenna. I was not cool, I was not popular. Boys would not talk to me for they were afraid of associating with ‘black mamba’ for that is the name everyone called me behind my back.
Somewhere along the line, in this tumultuous journey, amidst the numerous trips I made to beauty shops, I had an epiphany. However, before the self-realization, I would scour the shop shelves, my eyes and soul dying to buy those skin Lighteners (I could not afford them). Skin Lighteners that would promise that I could change my dark skin. Yes, change to an appearance that would shame Helen of Troy.
I believe that I was lucky, It did not come from books, It did not come from the magazines I read to appear trendy. I just happened to develop self-love. I realized that I loved the way I was, loved the way I was born. It made me feel good, feel good since I had a very dark skin and I radiated positive energy. Self-acceptance opened a magic door to self-love. That realization opened doors.
It was like reading and applying the concepts Rhonda Byrne wrote about in her book, The secret. Then I joined the league of self-accepting dark skin girls. The class of Alek Wek the supermodel and Lupita Nyong’o.
Today I revel in joy. I am glad that I did not lighten my super beautiful dark skin.