BET recently aired the annual Black Girls Rock awards show. The show celebrates the achievements, strength and the beauty of black girls and women. It has been televised since 2010, yet the organization was founded in 2006 by DJ and philanthropist, Beverly Bond (http://www.blackgirlsrockinc.com/).
I have watched the show every year. I am always moved and inspired by the honorees, presenters, performers, and even the audience members (rows and rows of attractive people). This year’s six honorees included Shonda Rhimes, whose shows I am obsessed with, and Danai Gurira.
Danai is an actress and playwright, of Zimbabwean descent. Her role as Michonne in The Walking Dead is so badass and aspirational, that I went as her character for Halloween one year. She currently has two plays discussing African culture being performed on Broadway (Eclipsed, starring Lupita Nyongo) and Off Broadway, Familiar. She is multi-talented and also happens to be very chocolate and gorgeous!
In her acceptance speech, she encouraged young black girls to tap into their greatness and to recognize their uniqueness. She quoted her “Fairy Godmama” Maya Angelou and said “I can’t believe my good fortune. I am so grateful to be a black woman. I would be so jealous if I were anything else!”
That struck a chord with me. Whether I am labeled a black/African American/Haitian American woman, I love the skin I’m in. Having dark skin wasn’t always revered. Yet, I have loved my complexion since I was a little girl, despite the haters growing up. Of all the insecurities I had (my weight, my coke bottle glasses, the inability to buy nice things), my name and my complexion were never a part of them. They were my two favorite things about me.
Thankfully, these days having dark skin isn’t as taboo. The standards of beauty are being redefined with public figures such as Lupita and the ever so classy, FLOTUS, Michelle Obama. I still can’t get over the fact that there is a chocolate beauty in the White House, even as she is preparing to leave it this year.
If you Google “dark skinned women/woman” so many images of gorgeous women appear. It gives me such immense pride to share their amazing hue. I follow several pages on Instagram that highlight and celebrate the beauty and accomplishments of African, African American and dark skinned women. Pages like:
I have been really feeling myself lately. I owe that to the positive images of beautiful, dark skinned women in the media and on social media platforms. I have been told that I was beautiful for a long time, but I am finally starting to believe it.
I am a dark skinned woman. I am a black girl…and I rock!