Home » Health & Wellness » Being Comfortable in Your Own Skin by Ericalynn Cotton

Being Comfortable in Your Own Skin by Ericalynn Cotton

There were many times while growing up that I used to hate being dark-skinned. I would get called things like “tar baby”, “burned toast” and other hurtful names by my peers. As a teenager going through other issues like puberty (which not only effects the inside of your body; but also the outside with things like acne), not to mention that I wore glasses and my maiden last name was Bell. My skin complexion was just an addition to the teasing and jokes that my peers would say about me. As a young woman, I did not feel beautiful or confident. I was a short dark-skinned girl with glasses, acne, a bit overweight, natural hair and the last name Bell. It was not’t until I became an adult that I realized how many scars were left from my childhood.

I heard an interview the other day where actress Kee Kee Palmer was saying that she used to wish she were lighter when she was younger and it made me wonder. What is the whole light skinned vs dark-skinned thing all about?
There is a lot of research out there stating that it goes back to slavery. The fact that the darker slaves were in the field and the lighter skinned slaves had domestic duties inside the home is thought to be where notion was created that the lighter skinned African Americans were better than those who were darker. Although there may be many different theories and reasons of why there is such division in the black community about complexion, that is not my focus.

My goal is to help women know that no matter what complexion you are, how much you weigh, and more importantly what others have to say about you, it is your responsibility to build confidence within yourself.

There is a lot of variety in our race. Light, dark, thin, thick, curvy, short, tall, and the list can go on. The more confident you feel about yourself, the less what other say about you will hurt. Many times people like to focus on the flaws of others to make themselves feel better about their own flaws. It is important not to give people power over you. Be the best you that you can be and love yourself. Do not allow others to dictate the way that you feel about yourself. Its not a good feeling to be teased or treated lie an outcast. But it is an even worse feeling to allow other peoples view of you become your view of yourself. Take that power back and slowly begin healing those scars so that you are able to live a happy life, knowing that you are comfortable with who you are, no matter what others say or think.


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