My first experiences with colorism.
I was 4 years old, and my mom and I had gone to her co-workers house for a small get together. The co-worker had a younger daughter who was biracial, but in the mind of a 4 year old, I thought “hey she’s 4 too, so we could be friends right?” Wrong. I remember getting ready to jump on the trampoline with the other 4 year old, but before I could even fully get on the trampoline she said, “I don’t play with dark girls.” I remember being very confused, because at 4 years old, I didn’t recognize skin complexion. I was more concerned about the next Barbie that was coming out. Haha I told my mom what the little girl said and we left IMMEDIATELY. I don’t think she kept in contact with her co-worker. lol That was the beginning….
Throughout elementary school, middle school and even high school I was constantly reminded of my skin tone by friends who were mostly biracial and some even dark like myself! If I liked a boy at school, he didn’t like me “in that way” because I wasn’t light enough or he would try and go through me to get to my lighter skinned friends. Yes it was hurtful, because I wondered when friends, peers or boys I liked would ever take an interest in me like they did the light skinned girls. It wasn’t until my senior year of high school that people started realizing or maybe finally speaking to the beauty I didn’t find in myself until college. They would say half compliments like the infamous, “Your pretty for a dark skinned girl” or one I’ll never forget, “You are one of the baddest dark skinned chicks here at the school, and there aren’t many.” REALLY?!
College. I’ve now accepted and come full circle with how I look. I can’t change my skin tone. I don’t want to. It has a natural glow that I’ve realized not to many people have, because you know what, IT’S MINE. I still get the “pretty for a dark-skinned girl” comment occasionally, but I don’t even acknowledge it. It’s ignorance. Matter a fact, I seemed to get called food names like chocolate drop, chocolate cake, chocolate whatever! lol I guess I look like food to some people. That’s a good thing right? To each his own, but I know one thing, I wouldn’t trade this skin for the world!