This article originally appeared in a May 2017 post of Diva Chronicles while I was working a short stint in retail. I am no longer at that place of employment, but my feelings expressed in the article are the same. They were reignited when Melissa Fredericks, better known as Mrs. Kev on Stage, and is the wife of comedian Kevin (Kev on Stage) Fredericks posted a loving PSA to brown skin girls who were told they were too dark to wear bright colors. I felt the need to help her amplify this message.
While I acknowledge my privilege in that I did not receive that messaging in my own home. My parents both wore colors and patterns proudly and my mother dressed me the same way in my youth. I recognized that everyone’s complexion wasn’t embraced as it was in my home when I went to school or elsewhere. So when I came across a customer one day who refused to try an orange blouse because she thought she was too dark, I was inspired to write this article for her and women and girls who have been fed such lies. You’re beautiful, in every shade and pattern.
Quick story: My day job is in retail. While I was assisting a customer with options to wear with a pair of pants she recently had purchased, I mentioned the color orange and she shook her head and said, “No, I’m too dark for that.” She was a dark skinned black woman who believed she was too dark to wear vibrant colors. If it is your preference no to, that is one thing, but to believe you cannot because of your complexion is problematic. I tried to convince her she would look beautiful in orange and any other bright color, but it was obvious she had internalized the belief that her complexion limited her to what colors she used to express herself through her clothing, so I dropped the conversation. Well, I dropped the topic with her, but not with you all.
To my dark skin beauties, you can wear orange and any other bright color. Take a look at the fabulous dark skinned women wearing orange below.
Cover Image Source: Claude Kameni