As a little girl I never felt pretty or beautiful enough. I remember the day I decided to accompany my friend and her mom to the supermarket to get provisions and other necessities for school, and the sales guy who she happens to be his customer said something “Madam your daughter fine, but this black girl no fine at all”. And they both laughed. I felt tears well up in my eyes as soon as I heard his remark but I had to compose myself. Whenever we had beauty pageants in school I never contested because I believed I was never going to win. This was also triggered by people around me people constantly calling me “Blacky” in a mocking manner, so my mind and thoughts were governed by what people had to say about me and my complexion. My inner self was lost, weakened and buried. Every time I looked into the mirror I asked myself, “WHY AM I BLACK?”
We had school clubs and then the Girl Guide was part of them. I made sure I convinced my mom to buy the uniform so that I could join them. I wanted to find myself as little girl. I joined the Girl Guide and when I wore that uniform with a blue beret for the first time I felt beautiful and I was so happy I couldn’t wait to get to school so that everyone could see my new self on Friday when out of nowhere, a boil grew on my nose. My dream of proving to everyone I was beautiful was shattered but joining the Girl Guide movement gave me tools that have helped me grow into becoming the girl I’m today.
Shortly after that, my dad got a book titled “God’s little princess devotional” for my younger sister. I picked it up one day and went through that devotional when I was in SS2. The first lesson I learnt from that book was Self awareness; then I started observing, recognizing and analyzing myself. I learnt self-acceptance and self-love, and then I went back to that mirror. I looked into the mirror and I spoke to myself, “Precious you do not need to be the world’s definition of beauty, you’re so beautiful and the only opinion that matters about yourself right now is your own opinion.” I started learning self acceptance by working effortlessly to becoming the highest and possible version of myself, I had to look for the strength in my inner self that was lost and buried. I started working on my mindset, I asked so many questions and I also read books.
Right now nobody’s opinion about the color of my skin or my looks matter. The only person who has the right to have an opinion about me is I and I felt honored when I went to the beautician and the hair dresser looked at me and said you’re the only black person in this Benin. I was so happy because all that matters is self love and self acceptance.
I use myself as a point of contact to every young Girl who is facing societal bullying; you’re the best definition of yourself, don’t let the society define you. The truth is, it’s never that easy to find self awareness, acceptance and love especially in a society which is judgmentally drunk. Look, if you do not celebrate yourself, nobody will do that for you because the world is too busy looking for ways to make you feel less about yourself. Never allow the world bully you into thinking less about yourself both physically and mentally.
Every one is beautiful irrespective of the color of their skin.