It has taken many many years for me to come to this conclusion …..”MY Black Is Beautiful”. Growing up in the late 60s, 70s and 80s, it was not the consensus. My skin was too dark; so they said. And television, magazines and department stores reaffirmed what I had grown to believe.
Because of what I received as truth about my appearance I hated to be photographed, yet I loved photography. It was my first elective class in the 7th grade. I saw beauty in other objects through the lenses of the camera.
I was 7 years old in the above pic and I remember the school photographer doing everything he could to convince me to show my teeth with a big smile. But I was already struggling with my looks and could not give him a big smile. I see that little girl differently today.
I had a photo shoot today for a book project I’ve been asked to be apart of. It’s exciting and it’s Abba’s way of revealing His amazing love for me. But I was terrified of being photographed. Yet I pushed beyond my fears and opened a new chapter in my life.
I think art has played a major role in my new found freedom of embracing who I am as a dark skinned black woman. I am a mixed media abstract artist and it has released so much inner healing as I spend quiet time in my studio with my paints and canvases. And of course my many journeys to Africa have made the most impact; words cannot describe what I feel when I see so many beautiful people who look like me. Unlike my American experience, they were not inundated with images of what beauty should look like. It was there where I first shaved my permed hair and started wearing short natural hair. Oh what freedom!
Why blog about this vulnerable subject ? Because I NEED to. It’s my season to grow and help others in the process.
Let us all love and encourage one another because we don’t always know what someone else has been through or still going through. Life can be tough but I thank God for my Jesus and His amazing grace.
I am taking one day at a time and gracefully emerging as a force to be reckoned with.