Loving your skin tone

Loving your skin tone

We have had stories of people-of-colour who are discriminated against because of the colour of their skin. I imagine that would be difficult for them and their families.

And it really is so sad. It is something that needs to be fixed.

The discrimination or preference for fairer skin tones is not limited to the West. I have lived in Nigeria most of my life and I have also been privileged to travel to some countries in Africa. I see how much people with fairer skin tones are celebrated, preferred and given certain privileges above their counterparts. Partly because of the colour of their skin.

Maybe that’s too far away to be a vivid instance.

I am darker than most Nigerians. I grew up darker than most of my family members, colleagues in schools and people in my social circle. That meant that I got teased a lot. I got called,“Dudu” meaning “black” a lot of times as a joke, as an insult and all sorts.  Here’s the thing; through all of that, I never for once thought that I should bleach my skin. I actually cannot remember if anyone sat me down to make me feel confident about my skin colour or not. I just have always loved my skin colour. And one comment about it did it for me. I grew up in an environment with lots of Ackee. If you are familiar with the fruit, you will know that it has black shining seeds. One woman looked at me one day and uttered very nicely, “You are as dark as an Ackee seed.” Because I know how beautiful the seed is, I was sold on my skin. I love it even more and I have never stopped loving it.

I know we are at a time where there are certain expectations, columns, boxes and preferences that society has. Especially because there are so many more people to compare ourselves to, with social media and technology. A lot of models are light skinned, skinnier, edited and photoshopped to look a certain way. Even the darker shades that are been portrayed sometimes do not exactly match your shade of dark as an African living in Africa.

Well… it’s okay.

Now, more than ever is the time to develop the love for your skin tone, if you don’t have that before. Besides theskin conditions and side effects that you might get from lightening your skin with chemicals, think about the example you set for your kid who has your skin tone.

Black don’t crack. You have been blessed with the most sophisticated skin that is able to withstand anything and still look polished. You should not shave that away. Instead,

Celebrate it

Moisturise it

Maintain it

And make sure to help your kid love theirs as well.

There is no reason to change who you are to fit societal expectations. How about you set the trend for beautiful black skin – no matter what your tone is – and watch others fall in line. Culture moves and changes per time. What used to be cool yesterday is no longer cool today. Black is the future. Why would you shave yours off before then?