Something has been on my mind for a week or so. I’ve been re-reading BB’s interview with Myliek Teele (who literally made me want to get my hustle game on point after we finished chatting), and I found myself rummaging over one line from her interview:
Oh gosh, people write me too and ask “how are you so dark and so confident?”
It really sat on my mind for so long that I started to question if every single dark skinned girl in this world has felt the need to be insecure, because of course we’re not supposed to be confident with all of this melanin adorning our bodies.
Also, notice I say, “need”. More on that later.
When I was younger, I didn’t’ know that I was dark skin. I actually didn’t care. I did, however, remember being called daddy’s little pretty chocolate drop…gosh I miss him.
It didn’t make me feel as though he was saying I was a pretty “for a dark skin girl”. It only meant to me that my daddy thought I was beautiful, and that I should think the same of myself, and that was that. Children really do register everything said to them. I thank God that I had a father, and still have a mother and entire family, that instilled internal and external confidence in me growing up. What we tell the youth is usually what they grow to believe. Choose wisely.
Insecurity didn’t really make it’s introduction to me until the 5th grade when Dexter told the class that I was a very “dark girl” after our teacher proclaimed that I was “very bright” after I stood up and answered a question correctly. I don’t remember the class laughing or anything. I actually don’t even think anyone paid Dexter any attention. But, what I do remember feeling, in my 5th grade mind, was that no one had told me that there was something wrong with me or the way I looked, or wrong with me liking the way I looked. As far as I was concerned, I was normal as shit and beautiful as shit and perfectly fine the way I was…and shit.
And then, Dexter happened. It only lasted for a short while, the thought of needing to feel like there was something wrong with me because of my complexion that is. Maybe a little into middle school. But other than that, I was rather confident in who I was and how looked throughout my life.
But that’s the whole point of my spiel. As dark women, we are taught that we need to somehow not feel secure in being darker women. There is this wide, unspoken rule that if you so happened to be a darker person, you must find your way through gloom and insecurity over your skin color.
Think about how frustrating it must be to be a person with confidence who is constantly being told that they can’t have confidence and must find something wrong with themselves because everyone else feels they should.
It’s like that scene in Sex and the City where the girls are gathered around playing cards, talking about their most hated feature and when they get to Samantha, she has nothing to complain about. Why? Because she freaking liked the way she looked. The girls looked so shocked after she said this.
I don’t honestly think anyone is born feeling wrongly done by how they turned out. It’s society and unfortunately sometimes our upbringing that forces us to feel as though there is something wrong with us.
When you’re conditioned to feel confident, which I was luckily conditioned to feel, you’re more than likely going to question the forces that are telling you that you shouldn’t (think, Kanye).
And when you question and challenge those forces, you will usually find yourself in a whirlwind of frustration trying to figure out why you’re not supposed to be happy, confident, and secure with yourself, your dreams and your purpose.
That’s the kicker: fighting that unspoken rule of not being able to love and like yourself as a Dark Girl, when you didn’t even know that you couldn’t love and like yourself.
This world cray.
So, for all of my Dark Girls out there, let’s pretend that the unspoken rule that being darker equates to being insecure never existed. And if you have lived by that rule (no judgment, we all have to find ourselves somehow), let Beautifully Brown and I help you de-program that thought and re-program your mind with confidence and a new rulebook written and enforced by you.