I remember raising hell as a child when my 3rd grade teacher marked my ethnicity as "biracial" on my End Of Grade test when I originally wrote "African American". There is nothing wrong with being biracial or mixed, I just don't identify as such. Both of my parents are Black, their parents are Black and I've never seen any white people at my family reunions that weren't married into the family. Not a good or bad thing, just stating facts.
|Some of my family with cousin Byron subbing in instead of my dad|
|In my senior year of high school|
I know that I might sound like a "whining light skinned girl" right now, but I'm just telling my story.
|I've always been pretty eccentric|
The feeling of being "free" was unfortunately quickly replaced with the feeling of being undesirable.
I remember distinctly going to a party in college after work. Usually when I'd go to parties, I'd get hit on by a guy or too, usually a white guy just because of the demographic of the parties I was invited to. This party, however, was different. I got dressed up and even put on makeup, something that I rarely do. I spent hours on YouTube trying to nail the Eco-styler gel finger curl and I was feeling very confident with myself. That confidence dropped as the type of white boys that would usually flirt with me instead patted my hair like a dog and referred to me as someone with "sponge hair". I strayed away from being referred to as "that mixed girl" and quickly became "that Black girl"soon after I went natural. It was something that I always wanted, yet for some reason, it didn't feel right.
So what happened to my self-esteem when people stopped asking what I was mixed with? It transformed. It took a while, but I learned to stop valuing myself based on whether or not other people appreciated my beauty and saw me for who I really am. When people see me, they see what they want to see: a mixed girl, a black girl, a light skinned and nappy girl. When I look in the mirror, I see an intelligent woman. A leader. A future doctor. I also see beautiful light brown skin that is riddled with acne marks from my teen years, uniquely beautiful hair that some people may call "nappy" and a big, flat nose that I have learned to love. Being Black and having features typical of Black people does not make someone inferior. Black is absolutely stunning.
In the end, it doesn't matter who people think you are as long as you know who you are and are comfortable with it.