To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself. ~Thich Nhat Hanh
Growing up black in a predominately all white community in the 70’s/80’s was quite the challenge. I longed to fit in and not always be the person that stood out in a crowd. I remember always wishing that I was short or petite and not my tall, gawky self, that I had blue or hazel eyes instead of my boring dark brown ones, had lighter skin so that I could sunbathe with my friends and not look ridiculous and long silky hair that would blow in the wind instead of my kinky curls that just hung there. Fast forward, 40 years to today and I can tell you that I love that I am taller than the average woman and that I don’t slouch, have dark skin that sun worshipers would die for, brown eyes that look like my mother’s and frizzy hair that is long enough to be put in a ponytail and hidden underneath a baseball cap. And I will be the first to tell you that walking into a room with all eyes on me, in other words standing out in a crowd, is quite empowering.