The inner black girl in me cries out because I see the acceptance of the features that I was told to hate be embraced by the race that told me to hate them. My thick and deeply coiled hair I was told to straighten or make longer. My dark skin I was told need brightening. My lips I told were way too unattractive. But funny, very funny how now these features are worshiped. It’s funny how the above picture of beautiful lips similar to mine can be mocked by those who wish to use syringes to inject the features that God had naturally created in me. For so long I thought I could never have beauty naturally in me. So I prayed that just maybe God could make me lighter, or have smoother hair that wouldn’t be teased about, or not have lips that I was told could only be useful for one thing that did not include talking.
I wanted to meet their standard of beauty, but they told me I wasn’t worthy. I wanted their validation so badly, and never wanted to accept the skin God put me in. Back then there wasn’t organizations I knew to affirm me like “Black Girls Rock” or “My Black is Beautiful”. I didn’t exactly understand when the radio would replay Tupac saying “the blacker the berry the sweeter the fruit”. I just saw me, the little girl whose mother struggled to keep still when combing my hair. I figured if it hurt to comb my hair then it must not be good. See everything good was lighter, longer, curlier, straighter, or thinner. I felt rejected. Even girls who looked like me rejected me because they didn’t even love their selves. But little Rose didn’t know that then. Little Rose internalized every comment, until older Rose looked in the mirror and saw how she bloomed just beautifully, thick hair, brown skin, big lips and all.
That is why the inner little black girl in me cries out when I see how once again everything from culture, down to the way we look can be appropriated, except the struggle. It’s all good until we talk about how little black girls are sexually objectified, exploited, or viewed as problem children.
So, as I look at my mocha chocolate beautiful god daughter and witness her mother struggle with her hair, I always make sure to tell her she is beautiful. I tell her that her hair, her skin, her features are perfect because she was made in God’s perfect image. These little girls are growing up and seeking validation from broken people, so we must let them know their validation comes from nobody but God.
So to you queen, if you still cry out. If you still seek validation, regardless of what race you are. If you’re waiting for someone to accept you as beautiful. Know that the divine Creator has made you wonderfully and fearfully made. His paint brush was not faulty while creating your image, and don’t you forget that. Tonight, I lay to rest the crying black girl angry at the world’s hypocrisy. Tonight I embrace that one day I will come home to my future little black daughter and will struggle and style her lovely hair. When she comes to me about her insecurities that the world plants in her, I will make sure to cling to her with loving affirmations all the more. I won’t let her cry out.
“Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Genesis 1:26-28