Last week my youngest daughter cried because I put her hair in an Afro. She said people would make fun of her. My oldest wrote and essay on how at times her skin tone made her feel ugly. And my middle daughter cries when they tease her at school. I can hug them and love them til they can’t stand it but there are images everywhere feeding into their insecurities. The only Black Disney Princess was a frog for 90% of the movie. Fashion magazines didn’t accept braids until Kylie wore them. The imagery and messages are incessant. So I wrote this to remind them of their beauty.
A LETTER TO MY DAUGHTERS
So what you don’t look like a princess,
Paraded around on TV and movies with long flowing hair.
You don’t have a tiny little nose and big blue eyes.
Don’t cry when you look in the mirror.
Don’t worry that others might not understand the beauty
That God designed just for you.
He gave your hair the ability to stand up
And reach out towards him so he’s always that much closer.
Your melanin allows you to bask in and absorb his ever-loving glory.
Use those full lips to announce your presence and demand respect.
Those thick thighs and broad shoulders will allow you to carry on.
You can’t be broken.
He made you that way on purpose.
You never need to cry
Because the generations before you have cried rivers so you don’t have to.
Your body and your hair tell
one of the greatest stories ever told.
Wear it proudly as you write the next chapter.