Beauty of Color

Illustration by: Haven Jovel Morales


The beauty that you seek has never resided within me

I could never be what you want me to be

For as long as I can remember, you made me feel lesser due to my complexion

Brown, a symbol of those who were kissed by the sun

But for you it was the color of dirt, the color of mud

And you never passed up the opportunity to treat me as such

For you love our culture, but despise those who have it deep within their blood

You told me I was dirty, told me I needed to be cleansed

I wondered when the insecurity would end

I remember scrubbing my skin until it bled

I remember letting the cloth painfully scratch away at my flesh

Futile attempts to get rid of discolored blotches until there were none left

I hated my skin and wanted nothing more than to be light

That’s what happens when society teaches you that the standard is white

Because the ugly are the ones that the heroes fight

We were conditioned to hate 

Conditioned to believe that light skin makes your worth inflate

Conditioned to believe that dark skin brings shame

And because of you, I suffered the greatest of all pains:



Through the trials and tribulations of our colorist society

I still learned how to love myself in my entirety 

I look at my Brown skin in awe

Because I have accepted it as a gift, not a flaw

To my beautiful Brown skin, kissed by the sun

I apologize for any harm I have done

Because Brown is beautiful, Brown like the Earth

Just like the lands we have walked for centuries, our beauty is plentiful and widely dispersed

Because I no longer care for your Eurocentric standard

And the stories my Brown skin tell leave me empowered

To finally see the beauty through my own Brown eyes that I was told was wrong for so long

To accept the skin I’m in as a testament to my family’s story

And as a testament that our history will be remembered in glory

With our alluring skin tone and Indigenous features, Brown skin is deeply rooted

And for far too long have too many of our minds been polluted

Pray that the next generation of Brown children look at themselves as if they were struck by Cupid

Because Brown is beautiful, gorgeous and magnificent

And symbolizes an anthology of stories and traditions

I came a long way to finally be able to say

I am forever proud to be Brown

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