I’m dark brown… my skin is the color of a creamy rich Hershey’s bar and I am in love with it. I feel beautiful. I love the fullness of my lips and my big almond eyes. My short springy coils of natural hair are happy! I love to amaze my friends when I pull a curl and they say, “I didn’t realize your hair was that long!” “Shrinkage, I say”. I wear my shrunken curls as my crown. I am in love with her. She is beautiful, inside and out. She is happy. Fulfilled.
You might be wondering, “What does any of this have to do with supporting Black-owned Business?!?” We will get there…
When I was a little girl, I was much darker than I am now. The only “raisin” surrounded by a sea of light-skinned cousins and and lighter brown siblings. I felt a bit out of place. I remember putting a large towel on my head, pretending that it was long blond hair. I would swing it around and call myself Sally. I loved to look at the pictures in the magazines of the pretty blonds and imagined that I was one of them. All of my Barbie dolls were white. All of my baby dolls were white. I didn’t have ANY toys that looked like me and I rarely saw a brown-skinned woman in the magazine. If a black woman did make it into the magazine or a movie she was usually of fair complexion. No one looked like me.
Fast forward to my December 7, 1999. I gave birth to a beautiful brown baby girl. When she open her big almond eyes, I saw a mini version of myself looking up at me. Those are my eyes! When my husband, her daddy, held her I saw a dark chocolate man holding his new little princess and I saw everything that I ever thought was deemed beautiful evaporate into that moment. I softly said to myself, “This. Is. Love.” From that moment on I made the decision that she would never feel like I did. She wouldn’t need to look to society.
To give her the definition of beauty. She could look in the mirror and love the reflection looking back at her.
My husband and I have since had another daughter and they are one the reason that we believe in supporting Black owned business! We make it a point to visit our local Black owned cupcake shop (Oh la la Elite cupcakes) that happens to be owned by black women. I love the look on my girls faces when they realize that “Hey, I can own a store too!”
When our youngest daughter was small and Disney released “The Princess and The Frog” we got to see the first BLACK DISNEY PRINCESS! My girls got to see someone that looked like them!!! A few years after the movie’s release, we visited Disney World at got to take pictures with Tiana. I wept. Like a baby as my girls looked up at the “Princess” in awe. They would never know a time when there wasn’t a Black Princess, or a Black President, or a Black Model on the cover of a magazine.
The little girl that hid in the house, trying to avoid the summer sun, in order to keep from getting “black” is gone. She is a happy, dark chocolate woman who is raising two equally happy women who are helping to change the face of beauty.
Until next time.