Who Taught You?

Monday, June 25, 2012

On my way to work today I overheard two young girls, no older than 10, talking. One of the girls was telling the other how she couldn't wait to be old enough to be able to bleach her skin and weave her hair and how her friend was so lucky to be born with such pretty light skin. The other girl, was silent through most of the discussion but when she did speak, she moved me to tears.

In a quiet voice, she said, "I think you're very pretty."


This has been on my mind all day. It took me back to my own childhood when I battled with the complete disconnect between my image and the definition of what beauty is/was. My heart aches for all the little girls who struggle with their self image... Where does it begin and where does it end?

“Who taught you to hate the texture of your hair?

Who taught you to hate the color of your skin?
Who taught you to hate the shape of your nose and the shape of your lips?
Who taught you to hate yourself from the top of your head to the soles of your feet?
Who taught you to hate your own kind?
Who taught you to hate the race that you belong to so much so that you don’t want to be around each other?”

Malcolm X, 1962 Speech

Hair of Heritage said...

I had to share this on Facebook and Twitter! It's so sad. And beautiful at the same time. And I see myself in both these girls. We keep on saying we have come a long way, but the next generation, our children keep reminding us we are not there yet.

BellaNubian said...

Thank you for this I went natural and I love my hair and because I have a defined curl most people tell me how lucky I am to have such nice hair and how theirs is so hard and kinky and unmanageable...we hate on our hair constantly..instead of just embracing what we have. My daughter is 6 and I've sworn to make her love her hair and accept herself as she is..So I will teach her that she is beyond beautiful and her hair is her crowing glory...

Naii said...

wow this was a very moving post

thanks for sharing that with us




Suzanne said...

This brought tears to my eyes....thanks for sharing!

Zoe said...

Who teaches kids to hate dark skin, kinky hair etc? Frankly, it is mostly everybody. Parents, friends at school, neighbors, sunday school teachers, boys, everyone.

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