THIS I BELIEVE: BEING CONFIDENT WITHIN YOUR OWN SKIN

Robin - Bethel, North Carolina
Entered on December 16, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

I am Robin…

I am Liberian…

I am down to earth &

I am also learning how to be confident within my own skin…

Since I could remember, I’ve always allowed others opinions define me as an individual. “Robin that’s what’s wrong with you…” This is the most common statement I hear. Defensively, I always respond: “What’s wrong with me?” Like always, a list of negative comments come spitting my way. I believe in defining oneself and being confident within your own skin.

All throughout high school and even now I have had problems with my weight. Others would make comments like “Robin your getting thick around the hips “or “You’ve gained a couple of pounds haven’t you.” The comments got so bad that I went through a period of trying to starve myself. Obviously, that didn’t last long! I like food too much! However, no matter what the scale may have read I was the same person-I was still Robin. Yet, my weight was just the beginning of my struggles.

I was never insecure about my skin complexion until I moved down south. The African-American’s in the South are racist within their own race. It seems like no African-American individual wants to appear darker in complexion. Being a darker complexion puts you in a category of its own; in a way it sets you apart.

Since my first day of school in North Carolina, I was picked on for being darker than some of the other African-American kids in my class. My peers came up with so many hurtful things to call me. Tar baby was their favorite. I remember one day, I was sitting at my desk, when some of my classmates started insulting me with their hurtful comments. Out of frustration, I just SPAZZED! I had a pair of scissors in my hand and unconsciously I threw them. The scissors barely missed one of my classmates and obviously I got in trouble for it. However, it was worth it. From that day on, most of my classmates were scared to say anything to me or about me.

I went through a phase when I questioned God for creating me this way. I tried bleaching my face and arms but that didn’t work. I would use a half a bottle of Coco Butter on my face and pray to God at night that I would wake up a shade lighter. In the morning I was still the same chocolate coated girl. This went on for some time until my Mom talked some sense into me. I will never forget her telling me that God made NO MISTAKES when he created me. He meant for me to be the way I am. I’ve come to realize that my skin complexion or physical appearance does not define me, Robin B–, as a person. However, my personality, beliefs, values, and attitude defines me as the unique individual that I am.