I worry for my daughters. I suppose that’s odd, as I don’t have children, but I worry nonetheless. I worry for those little brown girls in my future and I wish, how I wish, that I could change everything now. The memory of my brown girlhood is still fresh in my mind and I know I won’t be able to save my children from all of it. I can’t even save the little brown girls out there now, asking their mommas why they had to be born so ugly, so wrong. Little brown girls wishing for the bluest eye and that fairytale hair, like those Disney princesses and all the real princesses you’ve ever heard talked about have. Little girls dreaming of being a real girl.
When I see these girls, the one’s living that girlhood, I wonder about them. I wonder, do they hate themselves as I did? Are things better? Becuase, in the name of all I hold holy, I hope it is better. I’m told it is, at least marginally better, in some areas, but I worry. Who is there to tell the brown girl she is of worth? I hope that she has parents to remind her, that she has friends, aunts and uncles to remind her, but that wall of love has a sea of hate to hold up against. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how many times your mother told your are a lovely pretty girl, when even when browsing products for your hair, you come across products named things like Fair and Lovely. It chips at that wall, constantly.
I don’t know why I worry about this now, so far from any possibility of children. I only know it took me years to rebuild myself and my walls are still ragged and worn. I want to write books, with brown girls are the heroes, as the lovely, smart, resourceful, bad ass leads. I want to rewrite ads, shows, books and so much more, so they don’t tell brown girls exactly what is wrong with them, how they’ll never have intense eyes, never be that soccer star, that brilliant scientist, a spy, or fight aliens, dragons, or vampires. I want them to know their stories are real too and worth being told.
I can’t and it pains me. I can’t force the world to take whiteness off its pedestal. I have only this blog and a novel brewing in my mind. I can only do this, only support artists, writers, directors who seem to be headed to the right place. Teaspoons, to build back up innumerable walls. I can only hope that someday, those walls won’t be needed at all.