Learning to Love the Color of Your Skin

A Poem

Where do you find beauty?

Do you see it in glossy pages? On lit up screens? On hills of green or on perfectly shaped petals?

Do you see it in the sky when you remember to look up, or find it in the girl you see who seems to hold no imperfection?

Do you see it in everything and everyone, except the one that holds it too?

Do you see it in the mirror? Ever?

Do you see it when you look down at the hands holding the flower?

Do you see it when you look at your reflection on the side of the building or the photograph that was just taken of you?

We don’t always see it. We see it in everything and everyone, except the one that holds it too.

Do you see, will you ever see, that you are beauty too?


Growing up I had friends who did everything and anything to change the color of their skin. I had friends who wanted to be lighter and friends who wanted to be darker. The extent of making their wish come true varied from wearing sweaters in the California heat to avoid tanning to visiting tanning beds to make their light skin darker. We have all, at one point or another, wanted the color of skin that was not our own. We flip through magazines and are told that tan is better, light is beautiful, and dark is nowhere to be found. What we can’t ever find is the beauty in our very own skin. Instead, we strive for better, believing better is anything but us.

I have, at one time or another, looked at another’s skin and admired the beauty in it. I’ve looked at white skin and enjoyed the milkiness and found the beauty in what others call “pale”. I’ve admired a woman of dark complexion and seen the creamy smoothness to her beautiful “black” skin. I’ve admired those of latin descent and found myself, as a latina, wishing I had their beautiful cafe con leche colored skin.

How is it that I can even stare at my own race and not find my identity with them? Is it because I tend more toward olive colored skin? Is it because my heritage has both been recognizable and unrecognizable at a first glance, depending on who I speak to? Or is it perhaps because my married name speaks to a race that is not my own?

It wasn’t until recently that I have learned to embrace and love the color of my skin. Better said, it wasn’t until recently, at 26-years-old, that I have learned to embrace my olive colored skin. To be able to look down and to find myself letting out a deep breath with the following words escaping my lips: beautiful.

Yes, my feet tan easily causing me to always have funny shoe tans. No, I will never be light, even when living in the Pacific North West, because as I like to say “I was born with a tan”.  And yes, my skin is beautiful, funny shoe tans and all.

I want you to learn to love the color of your skin. To believe that you is beautiful. I want you to stop looking around and start looking at your reflection. I want you to admire your skin and to believe that it is perfectly you. That this top layer of the home you live in, that the color of paint selected by the creator to match your inward beauty is perfect.

He created and painted you and then He called you His masterpiece. 

He admired your beauty and called you perfect.

He created you to represent a part of Him, a shade of His majesty.

So represent it proudly. Live in it boldly. Love it deeply.

Look in the mirror and learn to love the color of your skin, for it is beauty.

Dove Beauty Campaign

• Only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful (up from 2% in 2004)

• Only 11% of girls globally are comfortable describing themselves as ‘beautiful’

• 72% of girls feel tremendous pressure to be beautiful

• 80% of women agree that every woman has something about her that is beautiful, but do not see their own beauty

More than half of women globally (54%) agree that when it comes to how they look, they are their own worst beauty critic

Source: https://www.dove.com/us/en/stories/about-dove/our-research.html