As I was closing out my day I ran into an employee who seemed to be pretty saddened. Getting ready to put my finger on the elevator button, she stopped me and said, “Our youth are in trouble, especially our girls”. From my work with youth I knew this statement to be true.
Society has made it very hard for young people to be comfortable in their own skin. She went on to tell me that she asked one of our high school students what did she want to be when she grows up and her response was heartbreaking. The young girl stated she wanted to be light skinned. Not a doctor, dancer or a teacher. Not a cosmetologist, social worker or a lawyer. The young girl aspires to have lighter skin. What are we doing as as society that makes a young girl decide to tamper with her skin color? Where are her parents kissing and hugging her letting her know her skin is beautiful? What images is she being exposed to to make her feel otherwise?
We have to do a better job at letting our kids know that beauty comes in all shades. We need to be involved in what conversations our young girls are having with their peers. Social media has become a very harsh and negative impact on how beauty is perceived. We have to be mindful of the images that penetrate the hearts and minds of our young girls. We need to celebrate their size, shape and various skin tones every chance we get.
Before we can begin to LOVE anyone, we have to start with ourselves. If we don’t start doing this, we will only continue to breed a world of self-hate which can lead to more harmful actions. To anyone who is reading this, please share, educate, enlighten and encourage our young girls to LOVE the skin their in. ❤️