yep, I'm rich in melanin pigments!
we are black!
“Country road, take me home… to the place I belong, West Virginia Mountain Mama take me home country road…” The song was playing repeatedly for over three times. It was a sunny Sunday, and my family was gathered around for our weekly coffee time. The room was filled with the scent of the incense making this moment my absolute favorite. This is the time I always feel reconnected to the present moment. It’s a form of meditation for me. As usual, I was trying to feel the moment until my mom interrupted with a seemingly innocent comment, "Your skin is getting lighter, you look beautiful." As a dark-toned African and especially Ethiopian teenager, I never take this as a compliment. This put me in wonder why the African community considers being light-skinned as a beauty standard. All the bleaching and whitening products are commonly used by Africans. Don’t get me wrong, I am not here to criticize those who are aware of their choices and consciously seek lighter skin. But I don’t really think that most of us are aware of this. We are not ready to admit who we are. If we are convinced that getting light skin equates to being more beautiful, then there should be a problem. Because it isn’t. It’s a mind trick, I believe. This is an indication that we lack confidence in our identity. Yes, we are black. And that’s it. We don’t even need to convince anyone that our skin is also acceptable and beautiful as light skin. We surely don’t need all the whitening products because dark skin is also another type of skin that can glow on its own. this lack of confidence in our reality extends beyond skin tone.; I’ll add one more. I'm giving a scenario that explains the issue more. Let’s say as a woman if you are invited to a wedding and you’re getting prepared for it, what would your hair be? Even though I can't predict everyone's answer to this, I'm pretty sure 80% of the black community straighten their hair when they have occasions like a wedding, graduation, or date, etc. Do you think this is right? Again, I'm not being a hater towards straight hair. but Why do we always take straightening our hair as a necessity to look good? Can't we look good with curly hair, wavy hair or even AFRO? Yes, we definitely can, but we don’t believe so. It’s because we are convinced that straightening our hair makes us look better, when it only sucks our confidence in who are. We need self-acceptance as a black community. We need to accept our reality; the tone of our skin, our hair type, our body, our fashion style, music, accent, and our beauty. If we don’t fight for our identity, who would fight for us? It’s the smallest thing that adds up to change. Let’s all start from cherishing our skin color and hair type and let's feel our authentic and natural beauty!