Every day I wake up to a reminder on my phone that says:
Don’t forget that you’re beautiful and you have to love and take care of yourself. You do you. You love you. You are you. And skin doesn’t matter.
because I am incapable of smiling in the mirror without it.
But the problem isn’t me.
The problem isn’t the fact that I lose control of myself; editing photos of myself to look lighter than I really am or taking pictures in lighting that bleaches my skin so I won’t have to.
The problem isn’t the fact that I don’t take care of myself; using different brands of skin whitening lotions and soaps, wearing tons and tons of sunblock on myself while also forcing myself to stay away from the sun.. even though I’m madly in love with it.
The problem isn’t the fact that I shower every day,rubbing and scraping away at my dead skin, hoping that I’ll be lighter than the minutes before I had started.
The problem IS the fact that I was grown to believe that white is beauty.
The problem IS the fact that I am brainwashed to believe that I won’t find a lover who will take care of me and provide for me if my skin is “too dark”.
The problem IS the fact that relatives and old friends don’t ask me about how I’m doing but about how much weight I’ve put on, how dark I’ve gotten, how much acne I’ve got now, how ugly I am compared to the last time they’ve seen me, and about how I can fix my face with makeup.
The problems are why today, even though I’m not going anywhere, felt disgusted at what I saw in the mirror this morning, forcing myself to put on powder and foundation of lighter colors and to wear leggings and long sleeved shirts.. even though it’s like 90 or 100 degrees outside.
The problems are what had driven me to lose my mind.
The problems are now my insecurities.
And right now, my problem is that I can’t find a way to love myself without trying too hard.