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Dark Beauty

I'm creating a space to embrace my dark complexion.

I didn’t realize how much being compared to other women affected my self-esteem.

I was never looked at as the prettiest, smartest, or even the most stylish girl. I’ve always been in a lane of my own. I always walked to the beat of my own drum. After years of feeling unnoticed, I realized I had the power to create my own space. I have my own style, a unique look, I’m authentic and that is beautiful.

I grew up with beautiful women in my family. The type of women who can turn heads when they walk into a room. I had friends who were stylish, beautiful, popular, and always got attention from the good-looking boys that wouldn’t dare speak to me in public. I was either considered the black sheep or ugly duckling. It became my reality. I didn’t realize how much being compared to other women affected my self-esteem. I knew colorism was real, I didn’t realize how much it impacted every aspect of my life.

Growing up, I didn’t receive compliments.”

I was the girl people chose last to be on their team. I was the one boys used to get to other girls. I was the one girls would use to gain more attention from boys. It was hard to find my place. I never felt like I belonged in any circle. I wanted to be me, and for the most part I was. Some people just never accepted me or like what they saw-and being dark bothered me for years. I wanted to feel confident in my skin. I wanted to love myself and embrace my complexion without feeling ashamed.

It may come as a surprise to people, but no one ever taught me how to feel confident about my complexion. People probably didn’t know it was a huge insecurity. Growing up, I didn’t receive compliments. I didn't get the same attention as my friends, and I was often compared to other females. My mother and grandmother did not have the same experience as I did, so they never noticed, understood, or acknowledged my insecurities.

Over time, I accepted that some people won’t ever see me as gorgeous or beautiful because of their own preference. Some will continue to make negative comments because of their own issues. I had to stop allowing their opinions to define me. I had to see myself as beautiful and not wait to see it through other people’s eyes.

Here are habits I implemented years ago to build my self-esteem:

* I stopped believing negative stereotypes about dark-skinned women

* I stopped comparing my beauty to others

* I started giving myself compliments

* I started wearing eyeshadow, mascara, & lipstick

* I looked at every feature on my face and said something positive

* I took pictures to validate myself

* I read scriptures and spoke to God about the way he created me

Your journey may be completely different than mine. Maybe you were the popular or beautiful girl that received a lot of compliments and attention. Maybe you were taught how to be confident. To the women who struggled or who are struggling with self-love, learn to love yourself. Get out of that suffering bubble, and embrace your beauty.

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