Allure asked 41 women of color to tell us the story of their lives through their skin — and skin tone. Because our skin can be both a vulnerability and a defense. But most importantly, it can be a source of celebration.
“I’m half Moroccan, half Egyptian, and I was born in Amsterdam. I’m Muslim, and I’m super proud of my heritage and of my roots. I want to be a role model for young girls who are struggling with racism or struggling with their looks or with their skin color. I had Naomi Campbell, who I looked up to as a black powerful woman. But there aren’t many Arabic models, and being an African-Arabic model, I’m trying to open doors for more Arabic girls.”
“Growing up in Uganda, I did not fit into the ideal. I was too dark. I was too tall. But I didn’t really notice I was black until I came to the U.S. Here I’m black, whereas I was just a person in Uganda. [Last year, there was a close-up of Lagum’s lips on the M.A.C. Instagram feed that triggered racist remarks in the comments section.] It wasn’t that big a deal to me — haters gonna hate — and I was able to brush it off. I posted back, ‘My lips are giving you sleepless nights.’ I grew up loved by my family. That love enabled me to love what I saw in the mirror. I learned to love my skin too much to fit someone else’s script. It is the same love that keeps me safe from comments that would otherwise offend me.”
“I don’t think people realize just how much Latinas vary in skin tone. I have Colombian and Dominican friends who are superdark and others who have blonde hair and blue eyes. We are kind of stepping away from thinking this is what someone Latin should look like, with a light skin tone and big butts. It’s celebrated more now than in the past, just how different Latin women are. My role model growing up was Selena. I love her music, what she represented, her sexiness. And just being herself. She wasn’t trying to conform to something else.”
“I have the most vivid memories of being seven years old and my mom picking me up from my grandmother’s house. There were the three of us, a family tree in an ombré of mocha next to the caramel complexion of my mom and light-skinned, freckled me. I remember the sense of belonging, having nothing to do with the color of my skin."
"I took an African-American studies class at Northwestern where we explored colorism; it was the first time I could put a name to feeling too light in the black community, too mixed in the white community. For castings, I was labeled ‘ethnically ambiguous.’ Was I Latina? Sephardic? ‘Exotic Caucasian’?”
“Add the freckles to the mix and it created quite the conundrum. To this day, my pet peeve is when my skin tone is changed and my freckles are airbrushed out of a photo shoot."
"For all my freckle-faced friends out there, I will share with you something my dad told me when I was younger: ‘A face without freckles is a night without stars.’”
"It’s important for me [my daughters] to know that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes and colors, to celebrate diversity, and point out people who have [a] different tone, or they’re covered in beautiful freckles, or they have tight curls or long waves. All of it’s beautiful.
"And what makes someone beautiful is the power of owning who they are and confidence, and being kind, and having compassion. Those types of themes are what I really try to nail into my girls’ heads, and reiterate over and over again — I feel like a drill sergeant sometimes. The only way that any of us are going to advance is if we have a generation of people who aren’t living with any sort of prejudices about standards of beauty or how we need to fit into a box.”
"Pressures exist, and it’s on us to make those pressures not seem important to girls. I’ve achieved what I’ve achieved, and skin color has nothing to do with it — in fact, it might have been an asset. I like the color of my skin very much."
"It’s so primitive that people are judged on the basis of the color of their skin. I mean, it’s skin. We all have it.
"I feel a sense of responsibility with young girls everywhere — they can achieve anything that they want to do. There are so many girls around the world that are told that they can’t live their lives or they can’t behave a certain way because they’re girls. You know, we have to fight the fight ourselves. We have to show girl-love to each other. We need to encourage other women instead of knocking each other down.”
The rest at source #1
sources : 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7