This I Believe

Colette - Aurora, Illinois
Entered on May 14, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe that the shade of a person’s skin has nothing to do with how they carry themselves as a person. My whole life I have been accused of being stuck up and thinking that I was better than many black girls my age. One time that I experienced these negative views based on my outward appearance was when I was fifteen years old and I was at church with my mom. When we got to church, I went to sit with one of my friends who was sitting next to a couple of girls I didn’t know. All three of the girls had darker skin than mine and were looking at me awkwardly when I walked up to them. When I sat down, the girls began whispering to each other and making me feel really out of place but I didn’t know why. I decided to get up and go sit by my mom for the rest of the church service. After church was over, my friend came up to me and tried to explain to me what was going on.

“My friends didn’t want you to sit with us because they feel like you think that you are better than us because you are light skinned with longer hair.”

I couldn’t believe that she had said this to me because I didn’t have that mindset at all. I told my mom about what had happened and she told me something that I will never forget.

“People are always going to have something negative to say about you because you are a beautiful young lady and that is something that won’t ever change. As long as you are beautiful on the outside and inside, you can let people say and think whatever they want about you. Your outward appearance has nothing to do with who you are as a person.”

I believe that other people’s negative perceptions about my personality and appearance will not have an affect on how I carry myself as a person. I have enough confidence within myself to know that what people say about me has no influence on my personality. I still have people that don’t like me because they feel that I think I am better than them because of the way I look. Now I believe that they have a lack of confidence within themselves that is not my problem but theirs.