... These are words I am ashamed to say I have asked myself more times than anyone should ever ask. As I have started navigating this world as a young adult, I am regularly met with messages about love and self-acceptance so much that I often forget that it is easier said than done.
In a recent episode of the TV One reality show "We are the Campbells," Erica Campbell is seen discussing her daughter's social life at school.
I'm not going to describe what happens in the clip, but I do encourage you to watch it here, or this post won't make much sense to you.
Have you watched it?
Growing up, I lived in predominantly white neighbourhoods, went to schools that were also mostly white, so I was always reminded that my beauty wasn't the same as the majority. I have also been on the heavier side of the scales, for the greater part of my life.
I remember talking to my mom, one day, about my weight, and how everyone in school (at the time we were living in Romania, I was the only black student in the school from Grade 6 to 8) was skinny and white. I noticed I stuck out and didn't look like any of them. To make matters worse for me I was also the new girl with a very strong British accent in a school dominated by American culture. On top of that, this was at the height of puberty so having a crush was this new and exciting thing. I noticed I was getting friend-zoned by a lot of the guys in my grade. Confused and defeated I asked my mom "what, is it because I'm ugly? Is that why no one likes me?"
I don't know what was going through my mom's head when I said that, but I'm sure she was thinking the same thing Erica was thinking: "why would she ask me that?"
My mom turned to me and said "Lizzie, no matter what you are, fat skinny, black or white, you will always be beautiful. That's just what you are, beautiful, no matter what."Till this day those words have served as a mantra to me, that my beauty is not dependent on the beauty of those around me. My beauty is unique because I am unique.
We live in a world that puts so much emphasis on superficial qualities, qualities that don't hold weight when it comes down to what matters. Are you kind? Do you recognize your worth and live your life accordingly? Are you respectful? What are you doing to try and make your life and the lives of the people around you worthwhile? Are you constantly working on yourself to make the best version of you? These are the things we should hold value to, not the colour of your skin, or dress size.
I hope we can grow and create a world where beautiful girls like Krista Campbell don't have to feel less than because of social constructs that were designed to encourage the 'hierarchy mentality' we see in all industries, and especially the beauty and entertainment industries.
Leave a comment below to let us know what your thoughts are on Krista's and Erica's discussion.