Don't Be Ashamed of your Black Girl Features

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Full lips. Wide hips, Wide nose. Low blows.

Tight curls. Loose curls. Kinky girls. Separate worlds.

Dark skin. Brown skin. Light skin, Can’t win.

No love. No break. My skin. They hate.

Why me? Try me. Problem? Bite me.

I love my frame. My black. No shame.

She wins. We win. Brown girls. My kin

Finally. I see. I’m made. Wonderfully!

This poem represents the journey most black women go through as we discover our worth and value in life. From birth, we are constantly reminded of our features. Not in a way that glorifies them, but in a way immediately making us self-conscious of our involuntary make-up.

At a young age, we are constantly reminded of the thing people don’t like about us. Then we start comparing ourselves with the other girls around us. “Her hair is straighter than mine,” “Her curls are better than mine,” “My skin is too dark,” “Her skin is too light”. We learn low self-esteem before we even know what it means. What makes things worse is as we transition into adults, those insecurities are passed to those around us.

How many of us have had these conversations:

“Baby, you need to stay out of the sun. You don’t want to get too dark.”

“Maybe you should eat a salad tonight. All your food go straight to your hips.”

“Child, comb your hair. Get that nappy thang under control.”

Too dark? Too big? Too nappy? We can never get a break. Even from our own people.

But then something magical happens. We grow up. We see women, like us, winning at life. We see women like Maria Borges strutting down Victoria's Secret runway with a stunning twa. We see women like Viola Davis, who was deemed  “less classically beautiful,” eating up film and television award nominations. We see women like Misty Copeland, ridiculed for being a curvy ballerina, dominate the entire industry.

Our perspective starts changing. We discover our unique qualities are not shameful. Actually, they’re trending. Our features are sought after. They are admired. We discover that our kinks and curls are versatile and exciting. We discover our curves are sexy and stylish. We start rooting for ourselves, then each other. Next thing you know, we’re coming together for natural hair conventions and “Black Girls Rock” ceremonies. We start telling our stories on platforms like curlynikki.com and twentysomethinandblack.com. We become bold and courageous. We become pioneers and entrepreneurs. We become conquerers and queens.

This is our destiny sisters. To empower each other. To love each other. To accept ourselves and the diverse features we were created with. Don’t be ashamed of your black, girl. Own it!

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