Have You ever had someone come up to you, smile in your face then proceed to admire your features and/ hair texture then go on to say….
“What is your background?
Your hair is so nice..
Why are you so light?
Are you sure you’re not Mixed with something?
You don’t look Full Jamaican..”
One of the most confusing conversations I have had is with other human being, whether black, white, asian, south asian, the conversation about race, ethnicity and color becomes very tricky and almost controversial conversation piece.
My Mom told me when I was born, because of the colour of my grandfather everyone thought I was going to be dark. Having a grandfather whose Melanin SEVERELY popped ( RIP Grandpa Harper), people assumed that one of Gary and Lorna’s daughters were bound to have their grandfathers darker skinned genes and redefine the meaning of a Dark Skinned Sista.
I was told stories about my adolescent years of people telling my mom I was going to “get dark” or that I wasn’t as
cute as my sister because I had more negro features. My eyes didn’t slant like my sisters and I was not as light as she was. My parents went from having a porcelain doll as their first child to then having a regular normal looking black baby.
” Shes a Ugly Baby”
One woman once told my mom.
The features that made me look the most black weren’t the ones that made me “unique”.
Going into Middle School and High School having longer hair than a bunch of the girls around me made people automatically assume I was mixed with something.
There was NO way this black girl could be that complexion, have hair that length and be Black.
There was NO way.
I was told I don’t look Jamaican, told I was too light to be Jamaican, my nose was too straight, my hair wasn’t “nappy” enough.. you name it.
I saw one of the realist posts I have seen in a very long time on Instagram the other day and it basically stated.
“Stop Asking Black Girls If They are Mixed Because you find them attractive, as if Caucasian Blood is some magic potion that grants beauty”
It’s so Saddening that society attributes beauty with being half breed, half of one nationality and half of another. They make it seem that to be 100% of one nationality is a downfall and doesn’t allow you to be seen as desirable or as captivating as your mixed counterparts.
I remember in Grade 5
Her name was Latiesha.
She was stunning, long honey blonde hair, Hazel eyes.
All the Boys
White, Black, Asian..
YOU NAME IT * Dramatic SHIRLEY CAESAR VOICE*
I was envious of her, I hated the fact that everyone liked her, everyone wanted to be around her and Ryan, my grade 5 crush had a thing for her.
OFF TOPIC: Ryan was a BABE! He was a good height, Blonde with Blue eyes had the perfect mushroom cut and wore Levi’s and Filas.
He was then my dream man, considering I lived in Mississauga and there was little to NO Black boys where we lived.
Back to the point at hand.
It’s not that I wasn’t pretty growing up, I just wasn’t Lateisha.
Skipping a few years into Grade 8, I went to a school in Woodbridge, predominantly Italian to be exact. My family had just moved into my grandparents while our new house in Brampton was being built.
This was the time in my life when I had long hair that was mostly braidly I wasnt really into myself then and didn’t think of my hair as anything special.
I remember the cold shrugs I received from the other black girls, the glares that they gave me as if I thought I was better than them because I was lighter and had longer hair. I grew up in a house where my mom and dad never taught us to think of ourselves more highly than our counterparts. I didn’t think I was prettier or better than any girl who was darker than me or didn’t have the same texture hair that I did.
“She Looks Stush” “She Probably thinks she’s the Ish” “There’s no way your face looks like that and you’re black”
Even within our own community we have made each other feel inadequate. I’ve seen girls who are lighter receive preferential treatment from guys and even other girls all due to their “Lack of Melanin”.
I consider myself to be MOCHA.
Refusing to fall into this Light SKin vs Dark SKin Crap that I see all over Social Media.
It’s even more depressing to see Instagram groups catered towards
Dark Skinned Baddies, Light Skinned Bombshells, TeamDarkskin Beauties
Pages segregating black woman and highlighting the features of some and ignoring the features of others are taking over Social Media outlets.
We are made to feel that unless were a “black woman” and look a certain way then we aren’t as desirable. I used to always wish I was mixed, I would buy the wet and wavy weave, put in hazel contacts and even hibernate during the summer to avoid potential chances of getting darker and turning an ugly dark grey.
I had an identity crisis, I wanted to be something I wasn’t to attract guys who were evidently not meant for me. I never felt Ugly, I just felt like I could look and even feel better.
4a Curl Pattern
I’m Pretty. Period.
Not Pretty For a Black Girl.