Updated: Dec 1, 2020
Costume created by Naayaa Akua Bey / Make up by :Shanique Heaven Sent
“You’re too dark, sorry we can’t post you to our social media page.”
Said to me by 2 VERY FAMOUS Soca artists, this 2020.
( I have decided NOT to name who they are, as a personal choice, please don't ask me)
Did those words crush me: YES. Did it surprise me: NO.
What’s even more interesting is that BOTH of these artists have songs that talk about
We know where this devious ideology comes from. The problem is, it is continuous.
From skin bleaching creams, to various media outlets, to family feuds about it.
So when does this stop? Or does it? Unless we keep sweeping the topic under the rug as we have for years upon years then it will never come to an end. In order to face this issue, there are many perspectives that need to be unlearned.
Loving blackness, means respecting ALL shades as they come.
Preference and disrespect are two different perspectives.
You can like whoever, or whatever you want without being disrespectful about it.
All shades of melanin are beautiful… you heard me?
ALL SHADES of MELANIN ARE BEAUTIFUL & WORTHY!!!
Yet let me be clear;
When you blatantly ignore, downplay, create false narratives, or stereotype someone because of the shade of their skin, now that is just plain ignorance and absolutely unnecessary.
Perhaps you'll need to check yourself right quick.
“You’re pretty for a dark skinned girl.”
*The most common feedback from men either the same shade, or darker than me*
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’ve been called worse than that. Names that you could not even imagine by those who would be considered my peers. I am lucky that my mother raised me in a manner to love myself and my skin, and taught me that beauty truly comes from within. I can honestly say, I was blessed in that area. But what about the young girls/boys who look like me who haven't been redeemed from the harshness of society? How do they deal? What do we tell them?
The Game Changer:
We remove the emphasis on skin tone all together
We instill self-confidence, by words of affirmation
We let them know that no shade is better than another
We speak highly of other melanated people
We teach the value of integrity, and self-worth.
This is why representation matters in every way, shape, and form.
Our next generation is watching, we need to be mindful.
"The most disrespected person in America is the black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the black woman. The most neglected person in America is the Black woman." -Malcolm X
This rings true in Canada also, and most likely everywhere else.
I’ve faced it, I’ve lived it, and until it’s brought to the table as hard as we fight for black lives matter and racism, it will continue. Yet with power, force, and positive energy,
we can put a stop to this lethal poisonous misconduct.
I will not let it stop me.
I am beautiful inside and out.
I inhale confidence and exhale doubt
I’m proud of my culture, upbringing, and experiences; they made me who I am.
Don’t allow anyone to shut you up or make you feel inferior for something as simple as a shade. Your voice, opinions, accomplishments, and life experiences are just as valid as anyone else’s.
Use your voice and say it loud:
(No matter what shade or size you are)
******Costume Created by : Naayaa Akua Bey
Make-up : Shanique Heaven Sent
Photoshoot: For Toronto Caribana 2020
Which of course, did not happen this year, yet I plan to keep my culture alive in
every way shape or form that I can;
and remain hopeful for the future. ********