But you’re funny.”
“People who are dark-skinned,
Have the best sense of humor.”
That’s what I’m always told at any gathering.
This is a kind of social stereotyping.
Some people at university would compliment my skin tone and ask me,
“How do you get so tan?”
I would tell them that it wasn’t a tan.
It was my skin color.
I thought they were making fun of me,
And that something was wrong with me.
I am dark skinned,
And I don't know when I started to hate how I look,
Nor when I convinced myself that I was not pretty.
I’m sure my parents think I am ugly.
Even my brother would say things like,
“I rejected a potential wife, because she looked like you.”
I’m sorry it took me a long time to come to terms with you and accept you as you are.
But don’t be upset.
We still have the rest of our lives to love each other.
I’m sorry about the things you had to listen to.
The racism you faced.
body image, beauty standards, bullying, racism
I went out with my hair down yesterday.
It was curly and a little bit frizzy.
“Your hair is disgusting,” a guy on a bike told me.
body image, beauty standards, hair, racism
“Her picture will be so dark, you won’t even be able to see her.”
I tried to say something,
But my tongue was tied.
I tried to ignore the slight,
Pretend I didn’t hear it,
Just focus on the camera.
But I wasn’t able to, unfortunately.
The result was as horrible as could be.
“The best thing about you is your tan,” he’d always tell me.
“What tan?” I’d laugh, “I am as dark as chocolate.”
“And I’m crazy about chocolate” he’d respond adoringly.
I’ve been subjected to bad things ever since I was a child.
It started with the bullying I’d get at school,
Because of my thin body and dark skin.
I have a problem with my body.
It suddenly got bigger and I felt the need to always hide it.
I had to hide my hair and my breasts.
And menstruation was the biggest secret of all.
I’m a dark-skinned girl.
I was, of course, bullied all throughout my school and university years.
I was called “chocolate.”
It used to upset me,
But I didn’t tell mama.
I was scared of her.
She, herself, would introduce me to her friends by saying,
“My daughter is black and ugly.”
body image, racism, bullying