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

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

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.