Since creating Divine Dark Skin on Facebook in 2012, I understood the importance of dark skinned beauty promotion and representation. After hearing the recent story about 10-year-old Kheris Rogers, I realize even more how much this platform is necessary. Kheris's mom Erika Pollard told Buzzfeed that kids would constantly tease Kheris about her dark skin throughout grade school. She thought that transferring her to a different school with more black children would help but was confused and discouraged when Kheris continued to experience colorism from her black peers.
Kheris's big sister Taylor tweeted out a picture of Kheris that went viral (that was ironically featured on DDS as well) and says the positive feedback from thousands of strangers on the internet has greatly helped her self-esteem. Since then, she's opened an Instagram account as well and continues to post pictures of Kheris from creative photoshoots that they've done together. Read the rest of the story HERE.
As I ponder over this story, I get a bittersweet feeling about the overall lack of dark skinned beauty promotion and the effect it has on dark skinned women and girls and everyone around them. I can't help but to think of all of the young dark skinned girls like Kheris who are experiencing the negative impact of colorism but without the help of a concerned family. Kheris is extremely lucky in that regard. I hope this story will help parents better understand that colorism starts early and can be extremely psychologically damaging if not checked and remedied accordingly. Another lesson that should be learned is that dark skinned beauty promotion works! People often respond to colorism situations stating that high self-esteem and confidence is solely derived from within when that couldn't be further from the truth. Every other group of women and girls in the world develop theirs the same way Kheris did but through massive promotion and outside validation whether they know it or not.
Black, and dark skinned women and girls especially deserve the same kind of encouragement and positive imagery and we will not be tricked into thinking otherwise. Dark skinned beauty representation is desperately needed to help the lives of millions of girls around the world and DDS is proud to be a platform that strongly kicks that into gear. This is not a pity party, it's a PROMOTION party and we will continue to exclusively promote dark skinned beauty unapologetically. No more waiting on the world to do it for us, no more being the "token dark girl" and no more begging for whites and their establishments to include us. Don't be fooled by the "divisive" accusations either because if they weren't already divisive, this platform wouldn't exist. Forget the naysayers and never fear because DDS is here! And guess what? We're not going anywere so get used to it.
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