My daughter is a beautiful little girl. I’m not saying this just because I’m her mother. She really is beautiful, with the glowing skin of a healthy six year old. We live in a country that is predominantly African so we do not have racial issues as such. Our issues are mostly ethnic and religious, but that’s a tale for another post.
Over a year ago, my daughter came to me and said she wanted to be white. My daughter wanted to be a white girl!
I was speechless.
What does a 6 year old know of race and colour? Why would she reject her own race like that? Several thoughts ran through my head and that was when I understood why she never played with the African dolls I got her.
I blamed all the ‘Barbie’ movies we both loved and Disney’s Princess Sophia. But it was not long before I discovered that there was only ONE person responsible for her mindset: me.
I had failed to show my daughter what self-acceptance truly meant. She’d never seen me reading books about black people – even though I read a lot. My hair was in a weave and I did not do anything in particular to identify as black.
The turning point was when she told me she hated her hair and wanted it to be straight and silky. By failing to live authentically, I was failing my daughter.
I knew that things had to change.
I now wear my natural hair (which I love by the way) and I run a lifestyle magazine that promotes Africans and all things Africa. I am proud of who I am and I’m working to live my most authentic life.
My goal is to inspire my daughter to love and accept herself completely. And I know I’m getting there because just a couple of days ago, she picked up a game on my mum’s tab and went straight for the dark skinned girl. Sweet!
As you step into a new week, remember to be real with who you are. So many people are watching you and taking their cues from you and it is only when you live authentically – imperfections and all – that you can truly inspire people.
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