How to Love Your Dark Skin

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In the world today, it’s difficult to avoid the pressure to be perfect. People of color, or those with darker skin tones, are often subject to feeling inadequate or being ridiculed for their darker hues. But having a darker skin tone doesn’t mean you are less valuable or worthy of loving yourself. Working on your self-esteem, taking good care of your dark skin, and learning to overcome colorism are all important aspects of loving your dark skin.

1. Avoid comparing yourself to other people 

As someone with dark skin, you might be tempted to compare yourself to others, especially those with lighter skin tones. Try your best to avoid comparing yourself to other people. Ideally, the only competitor you should have in life is yourself. Work towards being the best version of yourself.

  • Focusing on bettering yourself through accomplishments rather than physical attributes can be helpful. Instead of basing your value on the color of your skin, base it on how good of a person you are. Work on being a good person, not just a beautiful one.

2. Reevaluate your idea of

Understand that the media promotes a certain image of what is beautiful, and tends not to acknowledge types of beauty that exist outside of this set ideal. But, in many parts of the world, those with darker skin are seen as the ideal image of beauty. Recognize that despite what the media might be telling you, you are still beautiful.

  • Rather than assuming your skin is a negative aspect of your physical appearance, remind yourself daily that your skin color is just another special part of what makes you unique and diverse.

3. Be positive and encouraging

Instead of letting yourself feel bad, turn those negative feelings around and encourage yourself to look at things in a more positive light. Reroute those negative thoughts into more positive ones.

  • Instead of thinking or saying something like “I wish my skin were lighter” or “My skin is unattractive,” say something like “My dark skin makes me different from others and that makes me special.”
  • Tell yourself: “My dark skin is beautiful. I am more than my outward appearance.”

4. Focus on what you love about yourself

Keep a list of the things that you think are great about you. Maybe you have a really lovely smile, maybe you have a knack for making people laugh, or maybe you are a great friend. Focus on the things you love about yourself, and you might find that you begin to love other parts of yourself in the process.

  • Take the time to get to know ‘’you’’ on a deeper level. Rather than simply staring into the mirror, take an inventory of the qualities you possess that aren’t visible to the naked eye.

5. Accept yourself

By doing some self-praise and celebrating the things that make you unique and beautiful, you can begin to accept and love yourself for you who are. By channeling your energy into loving and accepting yourself rather than criticizing your attributes, you might begin to feel more at home in your own skin.

  • When you want to say or think something negative about yourself, including anything negative about your dark skin, consider this: would you say it to a loved one? Would you put down a loved one in the same way? Loving yourself means treating yourself better, starting from the inside out. Try to speak to yourself the way you would talk to a dear friend or a loved one.

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