I hate my dark skin color. Wow, that’s a lot to say…even harder to write. Let me explain such a harsh sentence. Growing up around white people was a little tough. I was different. From my name to my skin color, to how I physically appeared, and to how I even think, I stood out. I knew it and they all knew it. Being in a classroom full of Michaels, Andrews, Brittanys, Ashley’s and Nicholas was hard for me especially when my name was Adebowale Tunde Adewusi.
At a young age, I grew to hate my dark complexion and my nappy hair. I wanted the lighter skin color, the lighter eyes, and the straight hair. In a way hated I myself and I hated that I was different from everyone else. I didn’t know any better at the time and I didn’t know how lucky I was. When I looked at my skin I saw it as not as cool, not as clean, not in, and I felt ugly. As I got older another thing began to happen. I started to hate my name. Teachers would try to pronounce it and messed it up. Made me feel down and embarrassed. My heart would pound in anger as they hacked my name in front of my peers. At times, I wondered, why couldn’t I have a regular name? What’s a regular name anyway?
I got to high school and nothing changed for me, I still felt the same. I took it upon myself to change my appearance. I decided to grow my hair and relax it. My hair went from nappy to curly . I loved it and my confidence was through the roof. I also developed a nasty way of thinking. I refused to date girls of my skin color. My reasoning was, I didn’t want dark skin babies. Saying that out loud disgusts me. I was ignorant and young…I knew nothing. Growing up around certain people did this to me, but was it really them? Or was it a real bad case of insecurity that I had to deal with?
At 27, I realized that I spent half of my life hating myself. I wanted to look like a different person… how disgusting. From my hair down to my skin color. At times, I’m asked, what was it that made me change? To this day I still don’t know. I guess I grew up. I know better now and became educated. I learned how important it was to be proud in my skin and how unique and beautiful I am inside and out. The older I got the more proud I became. Proud of my culture, my skin color, proud of me. I love my dark skin color.