black is beautiful.

I’ll say it loud and proud: I love my skintone.

Dark, chocolate-y, ebony, whatever you want to call it, I have it, and I love it. I inherited my daddy’s super-deep-dark African complexion, and I plan on rocking the hell outta all this melanin for years and years to come. No hate whatsoever to my friends and readers of a lighter complexion, but personally I think there are few things more fantastic than deep brown skin.

I think it’s clear that the whole Darkskin/Lightskin dichotomy never really affected me that much. I’m lucky enough that it was never a major issue for me, at least as far a insecurities go. I scoffed at my family members back home overseas who would ask us to send them “lightening” creams. I was fully aware that I was dark skinned. And I embraced it. No problem going out to the beach or pool basking in the sun. It still baffles me to this day how much weight some people place on this, how much of their story is defined by feelings of inadequacies based in the deepness or paleness of their skin.

I saw this video today, and it really stuck with me; seeing women of all backgrounds still facing the same struggle of feeling like the deep tone of their skin makes them somewhat inferior. STILL. In 2010. Like, what?! I thought we’d be off that by now :(

It’s disheartening, to say the least. But I do commend the women in the video for not only approaching acceptance and self love of their hues, but doing their best to share those sentiments with others :) (that little girl just broke my heart!!!) I’m grateful to have been raised in a household where it was never a major pre-0ccupation. I escaped that particular brand of self-doubt, and managed to emerge not only with a level of acceptance, but a high level of adoration for it :) I really hope that others will start to realize that there is so much to be said for loving what you’ve got, and can get to where I’m at about this particular issue. Self love rocks!

I remember waaaaay back in high school, one day in art class, my teacher Mr. Newman was discussing mixing colors to recreate flesh tones, as we were painting a live model that week. As the only “other” in the room, (I attended an overwhelmingly predominantly white private school, so people who looked like me were few and far-between. Hence the high level of bouge I proudly display today. lol.) he decided to choose me as a guinea pig to show how to mix skin tones. He took my forearm, an array of paint, and a palette knife, and began mixing colors right there against my skin, trying to match the color, all the while lamenting the fact that our model was caucasian, and in his opinion, unfortunately her skin wasn’t as interesting as mine. 20 minutes later, he had added blues, reds, yellows, coming close, but not quite. It was a crazy scene, and took a lot of turp to get off, but it was a fantastic display of just how dynamic dark-brown skin can be. Paleness be damned!!

That moment stuck with me, and to this day I take every opportunity to relish in all my black-coffee-colored naturally Coppertone-d awesomeness. I love the way the sun makes my skin all glow-y. I get super excited when I get a lil’ tan and I’m even darker than usual. I play it up, show it off, and otherwise flaunt it in any way possible. It makes me giggle seeing people baking all day under the sun trying to get what I’ve got. Deep brown/red/yellow/blue/black-toned deep dark chocolatey skin. I laugh it off when someone tries to hate on dark skinned people, because I know deep down it’s not disdain, it’s envy. Not as dark as me? You maaaad lol. It’s ok. Have a tissue.

I know I’ll never be a “redbone” or “lightskinn-ded” or “bright”. And that’s how I like it. thankyouverymuch.

my black is b-e-a-UTIFUL. Period.

I think it’s clear that the whole Dark/Light dichotomy never really affected me that much. I’m lucky enough that it was never a major issue for me, at least as far a insecurities go. I scoffed at my family members back home who would ask us to send them “lightening” creams. I was fully aware that I was dark skinned. And I embraced it. No problem going out to the beach or pool basking in the sun.

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One Response to “black is beautiful.”

  1. Asante you’re a genius. I LOVE reading your blog, especially when you come out with gems like this. Like you, I went to a predominantly white, private school here in the UK so there were very few other black kids. Because of that, the whole light/dark skinned thing passed me by too and it was only when reading about the history of black people in the US and strangely through rap lyrics that I became aware that it was a “thing”. As if people, women especially, need yet another aspect of themselves to feel insecure about! I totally agree with you – it’s freaking 2010 and we’re all different and beautiful. I happen to love my skin tone too and luckily, I’ve remained blissfully unaware of the level of my light or darkness. Black don’t crack and I wouldn’t have it any other way x

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