Having a little girl has forced me to be intentional in every aspect of teaching positive self-image. Additionally, it’s forced me to confront the idea that my daughter’s narrative of self-love may look vastly different from my own.
The concept of Blackness was something instilled in us at a very early age. It wasn’t until my mid-twenties, however, that I discovered a love of self that went beyond anything that I had been previously taught. Suddenly I felt more than just a connection to my Blackness, I recognized ownership of it. This “aha” moment was pivotal in shaping the woman that I am today.
My fervent prayer for my daughter is that her “aha” moment arrives much earlier in life. This prayer is what holds me accountable for incorporating tangible examples of positive self-image in Olivia’s life. I also recognize that although we may not be carbon-copied images of one another, the struggle to find positive representations of women of color will be shared. Likewise, there have been a few bumps along the road in this short journey. As a biracial child, there are those who feel that by empowering her to love the brown skin she’s in we are placing a preference on only one racial identity and discrediting the other. What I’ve come to learn is that it’s not our job to convince others of anything, but rather teach our daughter the value of all that she is in the way that we see fit. Trust me, that’s easier said than done! For us, the challenge will be met and exceeded each and every time. Even now, I know the connections are being made each day.