TotBallet The husband and I spent Saturday morning hauling the kids to first-time classes in Southern California. My daughter had an early morning ballet class and both our kiddies went to an afternoon gymnastics class. Because of the demographic of the city we live in (Less than 2% Black), my daughter is truly the minority. That, in general, does not bother me. I want my daughter to enjoy the diversity I experienced as a girl growing up in South Florida. But, that diversity included Asian, Hispanic AND a variety of people of African descent from the US, Caribbean and Europe.

I grew up with Black cheerleaders, academics, athletes and artists. Talent, beauty and identity came in a variety of shapes and sizes. Even with all of this, I had sometimes extreme self-image issues.

FunnyFaceBallet

Baby girl has brown parents, cousins, grandparents etc. She has a natural hair sporting mother who studied both Sociology and Africana studies and loves her skin so much that she wears make-up free of harmful chemicals and makes almost all of her skin care products. She has a father so altered by reading the The Souls of Black Folks that he jumps at the opportunity to discuss systemic discrimination and access inequality.

But today we came home and watched Dark Girls, a documentary exploring the deep-seated biases and attitudes about skin color particularly dark skinned women and I became so aware of my daughter as a black girl. Aware that she could hate her physical self so much that  her spiritual and emotional self are compromised. Every day I pray and ponder the ways I must thoughtfully and consistently reinforce her inner and outer beauty as she progresses toward womanhood.