So, we all know it’s summer time. Most people are trying to get a nice tan right now. Guess what? SO AM I. Now, for me, it’s not technically tanning since I’m already black, BUT, I am trying to get darker. I told my best friend about my wanting to get darker this summer, who is white by the way, and she was shocked! She said, “You’re the first black friend I’ve ever had that wants to get darker!” To which I replied, “I feel prettier when I’m darker!” Even my family was surprised when I told them. It’s not normal for black girls who aren’t naturally light to ACTUALLY WANT to be darker, and I think that’s pretty sad. I used to not like how dark I was because I was teased about it when I was younger. What really changed how I viewed myself was a family vacation I took when I was 10. We went to Turks and Caicos for 8 days, took wonderful family portraits on the beach, and by the time the trip was over, I was a delicious shade of mocha. Never in my LIFE had I felt more beautiful than I did after seeing myself after we returned from the trip. From that day on, I was proud of the warm, Brown tone God has blessed me with. I was even more proud of the fact that I could enhance that tone with a little bit of extra sunlight. I find it shameful that society and the majority of the world push the opinion that “lighter is better”. Especially on young black girls coming up, trying to find themselves. Why do these young, beautiful black girls not understand that the array of tones and shades they come in are wonderful and beautiful in their own ways? Lighter is not better, nor is darker better. All shades of black are beautiful, certain people just have different preferences. I have learned that embracing the shade I’ve been given is what makes me special. I wouldn’t want to be any other color than Brown! You couldn’t come up to me and tell ME that I’M ugly because I’m not lightskinned. I am FLAWLESS honey! If you don’t like this mocha queen RIGHT HERE, you can keep it moving. Your opinion of what shade of black looks good is irrelevant. Every shade is beautiful. It’s all about how you view yourself. Embrace who you are.