All of my friends are white.
My sister and I were the only black kids with curly hair at school.
We always felt different.
Luckily, I never felt different in a bad way. It was simply obvious that we were, compared to others.
However, on the dating scene, I can remember moments when the way I look was an issue.
At 17 a boy was very enthusiastic about the idea of dating me. I remember him liking to define me as an exotic girl.
Do I actually look like a mango or some sort of passion fruit to deserve such a name?
I am sure he didn’t mean to be offensive but I am definitely not here to satisfy some kind of fantasy essentially based on my skin color or my hair type.
I am originally from Jamaica and I am sad to see that relaxers and skin bleaching still have a prominent place in people’s lives over there.
I remember reading this piece in one of Jamaica's biggest newspapers about a curly kid who was sent home because his afro was perceived as unruly and going against the school's rules.
This shows how old colonialism is still impacting our society today, preventing many of us to be who we are naturally, and preventing our identity to bloom.
It’s getting better yes, but I hope to see a concrete change in 20 to 30 years.
Many famous figures show that straight hair is still the strongest beauty standard nowadays.
Look at Beyonce or Rihanna! I am sure that their natural hair would look nice and would also send a strong message to all of us. These ladies could have a very positive influence.
I just wish we could have more of them...