This piece was featured in Nu Woman’s Fall/Winter 2011 issue.
Kerel Pinder, Miss Earth Bahamas, contacted me a month ago; she wanted to discuss a feature that she was interested in contributing to the Fall 2011 issue of the magazine. We agreed on a location that was convenient and immediately got down to business. Kerel presented her idea to feature her piece entitled “My Black is Beautiful”; I also had an opportunity to talk about her title as Miss Earth Bahamas and also to discuss her platform.
Nu Woman: Why is it so important for you to feature this piece?
Kerel: As a Beauty ambassador one of my goals along with my environmental initiatives is to promote a higher self-esteem among the younger women of our country. Growing up, I suffered from several insecurities, insecurities that I know many young girls still experience today. I wanted my skin color to be lighter like my mother and siblings; I wanted the soft hair like some of the lighter skin girls in my class. I just never appreciated who I was and what I had to offer. Fortunately, I was able to overcome these insecurities and embrace what was beautiful about me and today I hold a title of a Beauty Queen. This is an opportunity I could only dream about and definitely never thought was possible. I know that once a young woman takes the opportunity to embrace her unique and beautiful features, it will cause a tremendous boost to her self-esteem.
Photo. Mark Winder
Mango Tree Media
MY BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL
I use to be strong; I use to have dreams, I use to believe I could be anything I wanted to be;
Then I heard about light skin, and dark skin and the caramel color in between.
Who knew the basis of my beauty lied in the blending of colored schemes.
Color me surprised when I learned that the texture of my hair had been described as peasy, nappy, picky or just plain bush!
I thought my African Roots would be celebrated, instead they were just misunderstood.
So we conformed to society’s brand of beauty and invested in the texturizes, the perm, the weave and the occasional clip on bun,
But without all the extra glitz and glam is my black not beautiful?
And when the answer was NO! I began to hate myself, hate the way I look; hate the way I feel, my self-esteem spiraled into an unpleasant appeal
And then I learned that my friend was “surprisingly” pretty for a dark skin girl.
I thought pretty was pretty, is her black not beautiful?
And well my other friend, to them she just wasn’t cute at all she was too ugly, too fat, too black and chile her leg look like she bathe in oil sheen.
Is her black not beautiful?
And as for me, well they said there’s really nothing to special about you, you ain’t quite gat the color and you definitely ain’t gat the hair, at least if you had some pretty eyes that might have saved you, but at least you ain dark too
WHAT! Is my black not beautiful?
Tar baby, blackus, shines, are you serious is this what I look like through your eyes
My self-esteem began to be beaten so badly I developed a complex
I daydreamed of one day marrying a white man, just so my daughter could be mango skin with that long, soft, curly hair, and then maybe, just maybe then her black would be beautiful
Until one day, until one day when I said enough is enough, I will not conform to your slavery mentality, there is no indoor or outdoor slave because I am FREE and your brown paper bag will not define ME!
I refuse to be boxed in to what you describe me to be, because not only am I fearfully and wonderfully made by the king!
I am strong, I am exotic, I am captivating and I am BEAUTIFUL, My BLACK is beautiful, OUR black is BEAUTIFUL
By: Kerel Pinder – MBE
Kerel Pinder, Miss Bahamas Earth 2011-2012
© Nu Woman Magazine 2011