This weekend my beautiful friend Julia came by the studio. Julia is an Emmy Award winning Make Up Artist, wonderful mother and most of all, dope person.
She is also a good friend. We talk about everything under the sun and it is always inspirational. ...But her skin!!!!
It is a little of an unfair advantage to talk about how beautiful her skin looks, her being a professional in the beauty industry and all... but I must.
I remember never really paying my skin much attention, until I got a tan. There were times I would come in the house after playing basketball all day and my mother saying "look how dark you got!". It was something to laugh at. Those mini tans were gone by the next day (or so it seemed). The first time I went to LA, I decided that I needed a convertible. As far as LA goes, that is the most annoying thing. Too hot in the day and too cool at night. smh. Anyway, I wasn't about to waste my money... so that top was ALWAYS down. A few weeks of that and I got really dark.
I didn't really notice it because it was so gradual, but when I got back to NY.... HOLY HELL!!!!! everyone was in shock... like I had on blackface. I wasn't happy... until I really dissected why I wasn't. It is a very... "interesting" thing, the way that darker skin is perceived. I know people that are very open about their distaste for dark/black skin. I remember hearing how "those people" were one way or another, but "oh... not you!!! You're different".
There is so much I could go on and talk about regarding this, but what I really want to talk about is how I got over it.
I actually became fascinated by it. I remember looking at it and thinking that there was so much depth and texture to dark skin. I would look in all the magazines that I had and really didn't find anyone that explored that. It seemed that the world had a similar view on the subject. It just wasn't something to be "adored" or beheld as art.
It seemed though, that the issue ran more deeply.... because everyone still wanted a tan. They wanted to get darker. So where was the hate coming from?
It came from a generation that was ignorant. A generation that had a hatred and jealousy for dark skin. It was so much deeper than racism. It was "culturism"
So... that generation is about to die off. The ignorance, the hatred, the jealousy, it HAS to die with them.
I used to see my dark skin as a defiance. Against that old ignorant mindset. It was an "in your face" stance toward the people that hated it.
It changed. It became a salute. I feel like, we are in a time where I become a new representation. I set the standard. The standard for my vision of beauty, which is not exclusive.
Looking at Julia, I see it. It is that fact that her skin is gorgeous AND she is a truly beautiful person... That is the beauty.
Look more deeply.