When I Look in the Mirror
As I look at my reflection in the mirror, I am pleasantly greeted by my very large eyes, natural hair, brown skin, and a genuine smile. Over the years, I have learned to appreciate both my physical flaws and attributes. Sometimes, I am happily reminded of my mother as I notice my hairline and “Afro”. Other times, my father’s familial physical appearances are all that I see. I am continuously learning to love myself unconditionally. However, this has not always been the case.
There are a few incidents that I recall from my childhood that made me sad about my physical appearance and skin color. There are two in particular that seem to have a stronger impact on my childhood memories. I remember when I was about eight years old and it was summertime in Ontario, Canada. I was bike riding with a group of neighborhood kids and one of my friends’ neighbors took my bike and placed it in a tree. He was teasing me because I was a chubby, black girl. At that moment, I felt so alone and hurt but eventually, my older brother came to my rescue and took care of the situation. As a result, I learned that my skin color would always set me apart from the rest of the kids in the neighborhood.
The second incident involved some girls teasing me at school because of my hair texture. Since I was one of the two little black girls in the entire K-8 school, a group of older girls started picking at my pigtails in the schoolyard one morning. The other little black girl was afraid and began to tease me too. I was so confused and hurt that she did not stand up for me. As I grew older, I understood the importance of being kind and not joining others when they were being mean or hateful.
These experiences and many others have influenced my mindset and have helped me realize the importance of self-love, self-acceptance, and self-worth. You may not be able to control the actions and thoughts of others, but you can definitely learn to maintain a positive view of yourself. Do not seek the approval of others, but love yourself and continue to engage in self-growth.
When you look in the mirror you must repeat positive affirmations, accept and love your physical flaws and attributes, and remember to be patient with yourself and be grateful for your life.
Remember that you are unique, fabulous, and beautiful!