The absence of understanding and knowledge on the topic has led to generational trauma

Closer to home, I vividly remember that in middle school and high school, I tried to scrub the darkness off my body. I could never grasp the concept of why I didn’t want to be viewed as too dark. Going back to school after a hot summer and having turned a couple of shades darker was always rough. Being a cheerleader, I spent hours training in the sun. It's only natural for people to get darker, yet I still hated it.

The idea of being a light-skinned girl with curly hair was embedded in my head. The status of being light-skinned in high school was so important to me that I rarely associated with people who looked different than me. I had friends who had 3c loose, s-shaped curls patterned and glowing caramel skin. 

 

Looking back, I was ignorant to think that beauty only came in one shade. But the community around me made sure I knew I was on a pedestal.  Society has taught young people that beauty is only one skin color, and that is white. Colorism has a history of emotional effects on minority communities, causing lack of self esteem and a loss of confidence.  

The absence of understanding and knowledge on the topic has led to generational trauma. 

Over the years, I had the opportunity to surround myself with various people.  That helped me educate myself on the importance of respecting and being cognizant of one's race. Now, as a junior at San Diego State University, I have been able to take classes such as intro to Black studies; U.S. history from a Black perspective; psycho-history, racism and sexism; and the Black urban experience. This has allowed me to remove myself from a systematic way of thinking and love my skin tone and the history behind it.