It brings my heart great joy to see black women embracing their blackness, natural hair, distinctive features and beautiful brown bodies! You should be proud of your melanin.
When I was younger I didn’t want a thing to do with my melanin. I equated beauty with light skin, long hair, pretty eyes and good hair (come on somebody, what the hell is good hair?)
Growing up, being black wasn’t cool. How could it be?
The media, advertisements, mainstream companies and product offerings, perpetuated the myth that black women are less than beautiful.
Our beautiful brown skin was underrepresented in history, media, the cosmetic industry, lingerie collections and Barbie Doll options, just to name a few. And we wonder why a people could be so self-destructive? Can you say systematic racism?
We’ve come a long way but we still have a long way to go. My hope is that this post can remind you of why you should be proud of your melanin. Why you should be proud of your heritage regardless of how light or dark your skin is.
Why You Should Be Proud of Your Melanin
1. “Stop comparing skin tones. Who cares if your skin is lighter or darker than the person standing next to you? Change can only happen once you can truthfully look in the mirror and love that Deep Chocolate, Cinnamon, Mocha, or Caramel complexion.” –Alicia D. Love
2. “…Beauty shouldn’t be defined by whether you wear the Deepest Deep Foundation (like me!) or the Translucent one. It’s all about confidence in your own skin and in your beauty. It’s corny, but it’s true.” –Jayne Mandat
3. “…In the history of television and even in film, I’ve never seen a character like Annalise Keating played by someone who looks like me. My age, my hue, my sex. She is a woman who absolutely culminates the full spectrum of humanity our askew sexuality, our askew maternal instincts. She’s all of that, and she’s a dark-skin black woman.” –Viola Davis
4. “God made me this way so I have to be happy with who I am. And it’s a journey. And I embrace my brown skin sisters. I love them and I hope that they embrace me.” –Kym Whitley
5. “Whether light, whether dark, whether mixed, there’s only one of you. Don’t waste your time thinking that you’re not good enough. Don’t waste your time thinking that you’re ugly. Don’t waste your time because somebody else is thinking the same thing. If you’re thinking you’re beautiful, you can pass it off to someone else.” –Robin Tavares-Russell
6. “I think the bottom line of everything, even when we talk about healing this colorism issue in the world, is that it starts with healing yourself. Because really you’re the only person you can control. Work on yourself and treat yourself, talk to yourself the way you would talk to somebody who you’re trying to heal.” –India Arie
7. “I’m convinced that we black women possess a special indestructible strength that allows us to not only get down, but the get up, to get through, and to get over.” –Janet Jackson
8. “Dipped in chocolate, bronzed in elegance, enameled with grace, toasted with beauty. My lord, she’s a black woman.” –Yosef A.A. Ben-Jochannan
9. “When a man tells a Black woman that she looks mixed as a form of endearment, he’s insinuating that her beauty comes from the (allegedly) non Black part of her. All they’re effectively saying is: You’re too beautiful to just be Black. Oh, but I am. We aren’t beautiful in spite of our Blackness, we are beautiful because of it. So don’t dare try to give the credit to anything else.” –Shayla Pierce
10. “It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.” –Audre Lorde
11. “Deal with yourself as an individual worthy of respect, and make everyone else deal with you the same way. ” –Nikki Giovanni
12. “Black women were created of brown sugar and warm honey. the sweetest thing to bless the earth. Be wary of anyone who tells you otherwise.” –Alexandra Elle
13. “When I get up and work out, I’m working out just as much for my girls as I am for me, because I want them to see a mother who loves them dearly, who invests in them, but who also invests in herself. It’s just as much about letting them know as young women that it is okay to put yourself a little higher on your priority list.” –Michelle Obama
14. “I’m glad that Shonda Rhimes saw me and said “Why not?” That’s what makes her a visionary. That’s what makes her iconic. I think that beauty is subjective. I’ve heard that statement [less classically beautiful] my entire life. Being a dark-skinned black woman, you heard it from the womb. And “classically not beautiful” is a fancy term for saying ugly. And denouncing you. And erasing you. Now … it worked when I was younger. It no longer works for me now. It’s about teaching a culture how to treat you. Because at the end of the day, you define you.” –Viola Davis
15. “I am not my hair. I am not this skin. I am the soul that lives within.” –India.Arie
16. “My complexion had always been an obstacle to overcome and all of a sudden, Oprah was telling me it wasn’t. It was perplexing and I wanted to reject it because I had begun to enjoy the seduction of inadequacy. But a flower couldn’t help but bloom inside of me. When I saw Alek [Wek] I inadvertently saw a reflection of myself that I could not deny. Now, I had a spring in my step because I felt more seen, more appreciated by the far away gatekeepers of beauty, but around me the preference for light skin prevailed. To the beholders that I thought mattered, I was still unbeautiful. And my mother again would say to me, “You can’t eat beauty. It doesn’t feed you.” And these words plagued and bothered me; I didn’t really understand them until finally I realized that beauty was not a thing that I could acquire or consume, it was something that I just had to be.” –Lupita Nyong’o
17. “When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.” –Audre Lorde
18. “Everything that happens to you is a reflection of what you believe about yourself. We cannot outperform our level of self-esteem. We cannot draw to ourselves more than we think we are worth.” –Iyanla Vanzant
19. “I am not tragically colored. There is no great sorrow dammed up in my soul, nor lurking behind my eyes. . . . Even in the helter-skelter skirmish that is my life, I have seen that the world is to the strong regardless of a little pigmentation more or less. No, I do not weep at the world—I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife.” – Zora Neale Hurston
20. “Don’t settle for average. Bring your best to the moment. Then, whether it fails or succeeds, at least you know you gave all you had. We need to live the best that’s in us.” –Angela Bassett
21. “Not everyone is going to want, accept, or know how to receive your energy. Make peace with that and keep on.” –Unknown
22. “Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise. I rise. I rise.” –Maya Angelou
23. “The African race is a rubber ball. The harder you dash it to the ground, the higher it will rise.” –African Proverb
24. “Racial superiority is a mere pigment of the imagination.” –Unknown
25. “My father was a slave and my people died to build this country, and I’m going to stay right here and have a part of it, just like you. And no fascist-minded people like you will drive me from it.” –Paul Robeson
26. I think one of the most important lessons that I’ve learned is to put your head down and work. Don’t look at other people and compare yourself. Just do the work. Because when the opportunity is there, you have to be ready. Make sure your craft is refined and you’re constantly working on it. –Tika Sumpter
27. “The Black skin is not a badge of shame but rather a glorious symbol of national greatness.” –Marcus Garvey
28. “My skin absorbs the suns rays and my hair defies gravity. You can’t tell me I’m not magical.” –Unknown
29. “Just because you are different does not mean that you have to be rejected.” –Eartha Kitt
Be proud of your melanin! Which quote resonates with you the most? Share below.