BRWN SKN GRL

Brown skin girl

Your skin just like pearls

The best thing in the world

I'd never trade you for anybody else

-  B.K.

Four women with different four stories, four identities. One commonality.

What does it mean to be a black woman?

Resilience.

WRITTEN BY ADORA MEHALA
ART DIRECTION BY GUEN DUNSTAN

 

JANUARY 30, 2021

“Work twice as hard to get half as much.”

We have to work to be seen for who we are on the inside.

We have to work against the structures and stereotypes placed against us, barriers that were set up eons before we had ever taken our first breath.

And with each breath we continue to fight, as our very will to continue existing is a threat to white supremacy.

 Coming of age is a time where children start to parcel out their identity, their interests, and their desires. At the same time, social structures become more apparent, and one navigates themselves through these changing circumstances.

 But for Black girls everywhere, regardless of ethnicity, regardless of community, coming of age is a time where we have no one fighting for us but ourselves. We are the opposite of what is considered beautiful and desirable, polar opposites to mainstream standards of pretty much anything. And not only must Black girls fight to be seen, but we face an inner struggle – the fight to love yourself in a world that says you shouldn’t.

“Your skin is too dark. Stay out of the sun.”

 

“Good hair is straight hair.”

 

“That looks ghetto.”

 

In a world that rejects, our survival is dependent on us learning not to reject ourselves. Or else we will crumble.

 A pledge of self-acceptance, a radical self-love in the face of hate, is a subtle form of protest that Black women carry out when we choose to live in our truth, whatever that may be.

Resilience is in our DNA. And it only adds to our beauty.

Oh, have you looked in the mirror lately?
Wish you could trade eyes with me 'cause
There's complexities in complexion
But your skin, it glow like diamonds
Pigment like the earth, you be giving birth
To everything alive, baby, know your worth

I love everything about you, from your nappy curls

To every single curve, your body natural

Same skin that was broken

Be the same skin takin’ over
Most things out of focus view
But when you're in the room, they notice you (Notice you)
'Cause [we’re] beautiful

 - B.K.

 

Special thanks to Espeana Greene, Chika Okoya, Mya Most, and Adora Mehala

Written by Adora Mehala