Moderator's note: A couple blog posts back, Ms. Cheeks shared a heart wrenching poem regarding her experience with colorism and not feeling beautiful in her skin. A few blog readers wanted to know how she felt about her skin presently (her poem was written during her teen years). I requested that she give us a prose piece detailing her current thoughts and feelings, to which she happily obliged. So here goes! AS always, I'm still accepting submissions at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dark Skin: Reborn by Rajeanee Cheeks
I remember like it was yesterday! Emotionally distraught, broken, ugly, unwanted, and rejected. Speaking out loud, I said, “If I was just light skinned, this would never happen. Look at me! I’m black and ugly.” I could have been Celie twin sister from Color Purple. “I was going to do it today! I don’t see the purpose of me being here when I am ugly and unwanted. On top of that, I act different and don’t fit in! For god sake, I have plastic barbie dolls as friends.”
Tired and worn out from my mind and thoughts, I had started to reminiscence on a dream I had the night before. I was blindfolded on top of a 10-story building and jumped off; but, the strangest thing about the dream was that before I could get to the bottom I jumped out my body. I analyzed the dream as a pre-suicidal mission.
Seated on the edge of my bed, I cried and screamed to the top of my lungs! Frustrated with the world’s bias comments and acceptance measures, I pulled out a knife from under my mattress and placed it on my wrist. Trembling from the consequences that this may bring, I felt like there was no other way out of this. I had to go!
Suddenly, I felt a warm embrace that said, “You will not die in this place. You are mine and I am yours. You are beautiful!” At first, I wasn’t accepting it. Endless tears ran rapidly down my face. “Go look in the mirror,” the voice said. Before I could get up, a demonic, cold voice filled my ears and said, “No! Just do it! You’re ugly! You have nothing to lose.”
“Get up,” the embracing voice said. So, confused, I dropped the knife and closed my ears as I ran to the bathroom. I was scared to death. Looking in the mirror, I saw where the concealer and foundation had departed from my face. Grabbing a washcloth, I wiped off all the light covering that was concealing my insecurities and once thought ugliness.
I looked at my bare naked reflection and was in complete awe. Hysterically, I was crying and laughing at the same time. I could finally identify who that woman was in the mirror. How could I be so blind for so long? This sexy chocolate thang right here could be the talk of the town! Naturally beautiful with no flaws.
That moment was so unreal to me, I covered my eyes and counted to three. Uncovering my eyes after three, I was pleased to see this diamond in the rough. How deep I had to dig to find this rare gem! A gem that you cannot find in the finest jewelry store. Breathless, excited and full of joy, I was thankful that God made me perfect!
I would never let anyone else tell me otherwise. I declared I would never use make-up to design a false outer mask of myself, but I would use make-up to ONLY enhance my beauty.
Hahaha, look at that! Every mole on my skin is placed in its rightful place. Being dark skinned is truly God’s gift to me. Many people cannot wear such a chic complexion.
I declared to take full responsibility, pride, and honor as I wear my dark skin. I wear my skin tone proudly and diligently for all those who are ashamed, hurting, isolated, evicted out of their skin, and damaged by society’s perception of their dark complexion.
Also, I wear my skin for all the proud, dedicated, and eccentric dark skinned people!