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In recent times, people of colour have struggled in terms of loving and accepting their skin tones. This ideology stems back to the days of slavery whereby, the ‘blacks’ were captured, imprisoned, abused and misused as labourers all due to the fact their skin tones were darker. That mentality carried on with the generations that came after. Slavery may have been abolished, but that state of mind lives on. Lighter skin is seen as more beautiful and desirable, individuals spend millions of shilling hoping to attain the ‘yellow-yellow’ skin tone.
With adverts about lightening ones skin tone running all over the media, how does one who is raising a dark skin child, teach them to love their skin?
1. Be the example
Children learn what is right or wrong by observing their parents. If you positively describe your skin tone and appreciate your heritage, the same mindset will be adopted by your daughter. Admire how your melanin glistens every time you later on some sheer butter, radiate with confidence when discussing her skin tone, display beauty and strength .Such acts will resonate with your daughter. ‘Baby see, baby do’
2. Explain the reason as to why her skin tone is different
Skin colour stems down to chemical composition. People of colour have a property within their system- melanin- that causes their darker skin tone. Those who are of caucasian descent have less melanin. With this, your daughter will know that her dark skin isn’t a curse or an omen but just a chemical property. Something to be proud of, moreover, the presence of melanin in black protects them from the adverse effects of UV rays hence reducing the cases of skin cancer among the black community.
3. Expose her to her heritage
Douse your house in ‘Wakanda Greatness.’ Talk about our motherland Africa and the great kings and queens that lived. Especially now in the age of Professor Google, information about African is in abundance. The western media have a tendency of portraying Africa as a black hole yet it is the cradle of mankind, rich with history. Tell her about the Queens of Egypt, the gold Kings of Western and Central Africa, all who were of dark skin and were great. Play her music by African musicians, read her poems by the great African poets who bragged about the beauty of a black woman.
4. Shut down the colourist stereotypes
Colourism is described as the discrimination based on someone’s skin colour. Not to be confused with racism which is the belief in the superiority of one race over another. These stereotypes will follow your child wherever she goes and it is your job to shut them down. Though we live in a colourist dominated world, by shutting down the stereotypes you will armour your child with facts and a shield that will protect her from the lame attempts by other individuals to bring her down due to her skin colour.
These tips aren’t certified to protect your child from feeling discriminated but will ensure that she knows she is a beautiful melanated queen, created by the Lord and meant to rule the savannah.