TVC E. People with colored skin are often subject to a range of harsh criticisms and unfair stereotypes. Witnessing this rapid stereotyping can actually cause blacks to loathe themselves simply for being who they are. If you are having trouble being proud of yourself, you’re not alone. Learn how to gain a sense of pride for your skin color and everything that comes with it.
Define beauty by your own terms. Now that you have identified which characteristics about yourself make you awesome and valuable irrespective of race, consider your physical appearance. You may have been raised in an area in which black beauty was not recognized as such. You may have begun to view yourself as the “other”, as if your own looks were unacceptable compared to what’s being portrayed in the TV or in magazines.
- If you could close your ears to society, what would you truly think about your skin color and other physical features?
- Go and stand in front of your mirror. Take a good long look at your reflection. Pay attention to your thoughts about yourself. Are they judging or critical? Aim to shut them off, and instead view yourself through the lens of a mother or a lover. What would this person say about your appearance?
- Whenever you examine your appearance, strive to shut off that part of yourself that is comparing it to what’s depicted in the media. Look at yourself as if for the first time. Now, what is it that you truly like about yourself? Is it your pouty lips, wide nose, kinky hair, or smooth-as-coffee complexion?
Embrace personal traits beyond your appearance. Find the character traits or personal strengths that you like about yourself. Give yourself credit for them. You have inherent value as a person, and you need to start highlighting all that you are. Of course, this includes your skin color, but also other less-noticeable traits, such as how you treat others, your intelligence, your goals, and your personal values and beliefs.
- Sure, being black is a huge part of who you are, but it’s not the only and maybe even not the most important part. It depends on you. Make a list of all the things you enjoy about yourself excluding any characteristics relating to your appearance.
- Your list might include attributes like persistence, compassion, friendliness, intellect, kindness, or hard-working. Pin this list in your car’s visor or attach it to a notepad or something you see daily. Take the time to regularly reminisce on all your great qualities.
Learn more about your personal and cultural history. Doing research on your personal history can help you to develop a stronger understanding for how you and your family came to be in addition to the hardships your ancestors may have overcome. You can start by asking your parents or grandparents questions about your ancestry. Then, you may be able to conduct an internet search or get your genealogy completed online. Figuring out where your family came from can give you a better idea of who you truly are.
- If you are African American, your family may have come to this country during times of oppression and slavery. Remember that you are only here today because they survived these times and had children who carried their heritage onto the next generation, who also had to fight to continue their family. You are their legacy. You are what they fought to preserve for over 300 years, in a society that did not value the lives of black people. That is definitely something you should be proud of.
- If you are a dark-skinned person from another country of origin, learn about your people’s ancestry. Ask your parents and grandparents to tell your stories about your family history so that you can better identify with your race and culture.
Shake off the desire to disown your race or culture. Being proud to be black can be especially challenging when you are one of few in a certain profession, geographical location, or other group. Furthermore, this can be difficult when blacks are being portrayed negatively in the media. When your race is not being represented at all, or is being negatively represented, it may seem easier to adopt the habits of whites, who are more socially accepted.
- It can be very uncomfortable to stand out. However, you must overcome the desire to fit in if it means disowning who you are.
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