I remember it like it was yesterday…..
I was in Belk with my mom and she was trying on clothes in the mirror. I was sitting outside the dressing room and looking at the big mirror that people could walk to if they wanted another view. I was dancing and prancing in the mirror and I remember a lady coming over to me saying…Girl stop looking in the mirror you will never be pretty. You are so dark and that mirror won’t make you light. My mom came out and said something to the lady but I don’t even remember what my mom said…all I remember was that those words stuck with me. I was called ugly a few more times after that then by the age of 12 I started liking my first guy. He was so cute! I thought he was the finest thing walking. I use to always follow him around and one day he told me that no guy would ever want me because I am dark-skin. Guys only had sex with dark-skinned girls and married the pretty light skinned girls. I was devastated and cried all the way home that night. I remember my own mother telling me a few times to stay out of the sun because the darker I get the less anyone would find me attractive. I need to stay on the lighter side of brown. I don’t think my mom meant to be mean I think she just called it how she saw it because back then men seemed to only want the pretty girls and I think my mom (who got divorced because my dad fell for a lighter skinned girl) felt that dark girls didn’t stand a chance. I needed to stay inside and out of the sun so that I could get a man.
The first time I was ever called pretty was when I was 19 it was a guy that I use to mess with in college. It was the first time in my life that someone called me beautiful. I didn’t believe him though because as I said…I grew up being called everything in the book so when he said it I was like oh he just wants sex….he doesn’t mean it. I have been called ugly, black as the ace of spade, gap teeth girl, elephant, hippo, monkey, ape looking girl (this one was said several times to me) etc. Being called all those names stuck with me because I started to believe what everyone was saying. You know how sometimes you think if everyone is saying it, it must be true.
Over the years occasionally I would get compliments like you are cute for a dark girl, or well I have seen someone uglier than you so at least you aren’t the ugliest. Growing up in today’s world dark-skinned girls aren’t considered the best looking. By societies standard most men marry the pretty girls with all the makeup. They always leave their dark-skinned wives (why even marry us in the first place if we aren’t your type) to go with the pretty light girl with the makeup and big ass. I have seen a better example of men marrying darker girls like me but it’s not a whole lot of that going around. I am now in my mid 30’s and being ugly stuck with me until I was about 32. Below is the link to find out how I finally found out that beauty is only skin deep. It took me until my 30’s to get to this level and sometimes I still don’t feel beautiful but I feel way better about myself than what I did a few years ago.
Link to my interview you can find it here!
Thank you to Dove for having me speak my mind and for having me tell my story about how beauty affects me. I hope that you learn something from my story and I hope that you know that everyone is beautiful!