When I got to work Wednesday, I did what I normally do – got breakfast, checked my work emailed, moaned and groaned, then checked facebook. And that’s when I saw it. I was shocked, I was caught up in a ball of supernaturalrealness (not a word, but I’m just saying), and I was amazed. It happened. It really happened.
Princess Lupita, as I like to call her, was named People’s most beautiful person on Earth. And she deserves this title honey! But what’s bigger than that is a woman with chocolate skin like mines, like my daughters, like so many other brown babies out there, is being called THE MOST BEAUTIFUL on the cover of a magazine that’s not targeted to a Black audience. Like, out of all her peers, she was chosen. Her.
Now, my intention is never to make this a race centered blog, but it is a blog about being Johanna’s mama, and that means tackling many issues including the issue of our brown skin. This is rare. How many times have you seen a dark skinned Black woman be called the most beautiful in THE WHOLE ENTIRE WORLD, outloud, front and center, on a magazine? This doesn’t happen to or for us. I know that a lot of people take it for granted, seeing someone that looks like them validated in the media. Having their beauty affirmed, letting them know that they are gorgeous. This is not something that happens for us brown girls. It’s part of the reason that organizations like Black Girls Rock! exist. Not to say that Latinos, Whites, Asians, etc. don’t rock, because they do. However, African American beauty, especially of the darker variety, is rarely celebrated in this country.
I immediately shared the photo I saw, proudly posting it on my fb wall and declaring that I am going to print it off and frame it in my daughters room. And I will. I have the image saved on my computer and I am going to get that baby laminated and hang it high. It’s nice when you hear your parents say that you are beautiful, but that’s what they are supposed to say. A lot of times kids turn to the media for that validation. I want to show my daughter that yes, even the media says you’re beautiful too. It bothers me that me telling her how beautiful she is may not be enough, so I’m arming myself with as much evidence of her beauty as possible.