Be Your Valentine! How to Fall in Love with Your Dark Skin in 2024!

A beautiful dark skin black model with a large afro and glowing skin.

Valentine's Day is the season of love! Hearts, candies, flowers, red and pink outfits, and dresses fill the stores to remind us to love and be loved. It's all fun, cute, and... Hallmark! 

Whether you or not you feel Valentine's Day is a Hallmark holiday or not, what's not fun and cute is self-hatred through colorism. It's important to love yourself and the skin you're in before you can truly love others and being loved by others won't fill that void 100%. 

This is the year when we show some affection for our complexion!

👉🏾Spoiler alert, the road to loving yourself won't always feel good or look positive. Healing can be days filled with heavy tears. The goal is to drift away from self-hatred and gradually grow to know what it means to love the only body you have inside and out.

This can be a challenge if you've been raised in a family or society that has made it difficult to just exist in your skin tone. Some of us have grown up hearing things like, "You shouldn't play in the sun too much or you'll get too dark."

We often see in our TV shows, movies, and other forms of entertainment a preference for white or lighter skin. Oftentimes, racially ambiguous women are cast to represent Black women and other women of various ethnic groups to check the DEI box, unless the character is a villain, then their skin is darker.

Intentionally or unintentionally, society has a 100% success rate of making many people with dark skin feel unimportant and unlovable.

Who doesn't love their skin color? Unfortunately, there are too many!

Go to your favorite search engine and see the vast number of Reddit and Quora threads, social posts, and articles of people asking for advice or advice about how to love their skin color. That's because colorism is a global issue caused by colonialism and fed by a lack of education.

Most Africans, African Americans (North and South Americans), Caribbeans, Middle Easterners, and Asians suffer from the effects of racism and/or colorism and it's caused many to turn to unhealthy efforts to become lighter to appear more attractive and even hirable. 

"I don't know how to love my dark skin. What do I do?"

Here's how to love and appreciate your dark complexion.

1. You can not hate yourself into loving yourself.

Believe that you're loveable no matter your complexion. You also can't hate having a darker complexion on yourself, but love it on someone else. That's still colorism, babe and it's harmful.

2. Debunk any myths that having lighter skin will make you more beautiful. 

Anyone who thinks that you'd be more attractive with lighter skin should be avoided. It's not your job to make anyone see your beauty or lighten your skin to make them notice you. They're not welcome in your life if they choose not to see it. You are attractive now. You most likely need new friends and a change of scenery.

Thinking that your life would be easier by having a lighter complexion is still allowing colorism to rule over you.

3. Do your homework. 

It's time to turn to organizations and educators on colorism. There are many websites, YouTube channels, and social media profiles dedicated to social change involving colorism.

Colorism Healing, founded by Dr. Sarah L. Webb, is one amazing source of information. She breaks things down in a way that helps everyone see the problem and what to do about it in little and big ways, inside and out. 

This is also a time to get into therapy with a therapist who would understand the issues of colorism. That might mean finding a therapist who looks like you.

4. You are what you eat!

What you constantly take in is what feeds your beliefs. If you don't want to hate your dark complexion anymore, clean up your feed and clean out your cabinets. Get rid of products that claim to "lighten skin". 

There's a difference between trying to lighten all of your skin and using products meant for scars and hyperpigmentation. Still, look for products without cancer-causing chemicals or safe natural ingredients to lighten dark scars.

If you're trying to love your skin tone more, try following and reading more about people with your skin tones and darker. They have some of the same experiences and lessons they've learned to overcome colorism in their lives and chosen careers.

5. Call a spade a spade. 

Call your crap out on the carpet and think about these questions for a bit.

  • Do you only follow actors, dancers, singers, and other entertainers with a lighter complexion? 
  • Do you follow and agree with those who are tougher on people with darker skin tones? (Victim-blaming, shaming, bullying, racism, etc)
  • Do you use skin-bleaching creams or have considered using them?
  • Do you ignore the voices of darker people and pretend not to see color?
  • Have you made anyone around you feel worried about being "too dark" or "getting darker"?

A beautiful woman with a dark complexion is wearing dark sunglasses and a bright pink blazer.

6. Appreciate your skin tone! 

Your dark skin is gorgeous! Show it some appreciation. You may have heard some of these tips before, but I'm going to say it anyway.

  • Eat well, drink your water, and cleanse your skin regularly. Just because there is a struggle to love your darker skin tone, that doesn't mean it should be neglected. After all, it's the only skin you have. Start loving it today!
  • Wear sunscreen! You're not too dark to need sunscreen. Sun damage can still happen to us. If you're a millennial like me, we need to stay looking younger forever and ever!
  • Look in the mirror and say beautiful affirmations to yourself. Words have power and we must speak well towards ourselves. Our bodies are listening.
  • Add positive image-bearers with darker skin to your following list. For example, if you're TV and film, follow actresses like Viola Davis, Danielle Brooks, and Simone Ashley on all your favorite socials.
  • Wear the right color foundations. What do I mean by "foundations"? Wear the right color foundation in makeup, nude underwear, bandages, and other accessories that are supposed to match your skin tone. Of course, the darker you are, the more of a challenge this is.

I, Ebony, the founder of My Nude Shade, have accepted this challenge! *In walks a chubby Black woman with soft frizzy hair, wearing a brown superhero cape that's flapping in the wind* 

My Nude Shade is an online store that makes shopping for your shade of nude way easier. We first organize products by skin tone. Then, they can be filtered by type, use, and size. Therefore, saving you time, money, and frustration from feeling excluded.

As I mentioned, the goal is to drift away from self-hatred and the work that needs to be done won't be comfortable. However, there's love and joy on the other side of the work of learning to love your dark skin, and that is way better than any gift anyone could ever give.

Your Homework:

1. The Colorism Database
2. My Nude Shade Online Store
3. Marla Paul (July 18, 2023) [Blog Post] Bleaching among skin of color individuals is prevalent in the U.S. 
4. Ana Salvá (December 02, 2019) Where Does the Asian Obsession With White Skin Come From? [Blog Post]
A beautiful dark skin black model with braids in front of a pink background with text about loving your dark skin.

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