~ Spare two minutes to read this empowering story, promise you won't regret it. ~ 📸: @zulydelarose -> regram @MONEYCA: 'Showers were my own personal place of torture. I used to spend countless minutes scrubbing my arms until they became a vibrant red, until the sponge left scruff marks I would scrub thinking I could scrub my color away. For the longest time I hated myself, I hated the brown skin color my Oaxacan parents had passed on to me, I hated the little hairs on my upper lip and my curved nose, I hated the way I spoke-with a little accent on hard to pronounce English words. I remember thinking that if Michael Jackson, one of my long-time idols, could go from being dark to a pale white, then I could too (of course I didn't know what actually went on). While other girls fantasized about boy bands and High School Musical, I fantasized about medical procedures that I could undergo in order to turn my caramel brown skin into a sandy color like everyone else around me.
This hatred of indigenous features changed when high school came along.
I educated myself, learned about my roots and embraced them. I spent hours rewatching movies like No Familia, La Bamba, and Stand and Deliver, hours reading about Chicano movements, such as the Brown Berets, hours observing Frida Kahlo's and her husband Diego Rivera's art. It wasn't until I saw the beauty of my people, the way they've risen, the way they've conquered that I learned to love my brown shine. I learned to love the way it glows and the way glistens in the sunlight, like how a star twinkles in the black night. I am no longer afraid to wear dark lipstick or dark clothing because it makes me look "darker". I am no longer afraid to shade in my already thick brows, and wear my vibrant maroon lipstick, and rock my big gold hoops because I look like a "chola". I have now accepted and embraced who I am as a Chicana, as Monica, and most importantly as a brownie-with skin as brown as the soil my ancestors flourished in. So please continue telling me " estas negra", or asking why I'm so burnt, or joking that when the lights go off you can't see me because I now know that "the darker the flesh, the deeper the roots'. 🌹