7.27.2016

The Skin I'm In

SURPRISE - Two posts this week!

Confession - when I was a girl, I hated the skin I'm in. A very sad statement to make, but one that is very true. My suffering was attributed to two things: One - I had an ongoing battle with eczema, and second: I was constantly ridiculed by boys from my own race who would say, "You're pretty for a dark-skinned girl." Somehow the back-handed compliment made me feel very ugly, and more like a strange, abnormal creature who began to wonder how I could possibly be pretty with dark skin. I heard the cruel remark so often, I began to cringe at the sound of the word - "dark" skin.

During my twenties, I lived in Michigan for a very short time. The move was all-around disastrous except for an event my sister and I attended at Michigan State University to hear the prolific poet, Maya Angelou. One of her poems spoke about the beautiful shades of the African-American woman. I recall how she gave each shade, from light to dark, a lovely description. My complexion was described as Dark Chocolate. Oooo, I love dark chocolate! Though I can't remember the words of the poem in verbatim, I do remember leaving the school campus feeling like a new woman - one who fell in love with the skin I'm in.

Now at the age of 50, I understand the importance of loving all of me unconditionally. My once hated skin has become a sign of vitality and good health. Years ago I sought out a dermatologist who taught me how to naturally care for my skin, and to manage the occasional breakout. She urged...If you adopt this wisdom into your life, you will do very well - Drink lots of water, exercise, avoid the things I'm sensitive too, gently exfoliate, get healthy doses of Vitamin D, use sunscreen, and remember to take Biotin. For today, I'm showcasing a healthy glow while wearing a (drum roll please)...Jumpsuit!! Can you believe it? After my Bee Brave post, I decided I had to jump in and grab my very first jumpsuit ever. Enjoy the pictures and I'll meet you below in the comment section.


Living in California, a place where the temperatures soar, and bare attire combined with a healthy glow is a prerequisite to become a native, it feels good to love the skin I'm in. I've decided to reveal my freshly exfoliated, dark chocolate glow in a fun cami styled jumpsuit. A few days prior to this photo shoot, my family indulged in a day of riding the waves on boogie-boards at Laguna Beach, so you'll notice I'm proudly boasting an even deeper shade of brown - one that enhances my red undertones from my dual Native American heritage (My paternal great-grandfather married a Native American).

Outfit Details - Petite Geo Jumpsuit: Ann Taylor Loft (on sale); Rancher Hat: Anthropologie (from last year. More Rancher Hats at Anthropologie); Sandals: Zara (many years ago); Straw Clutch is vintage 80s Neiman Marcus via eBay; Aviators: Ann Taylor Loft; Polish is Chicago Champagne Toast by OPI; Peace Necklace purchased at an artisan street fair.



 



   
 

I haven't heard anyone make the back-handed statement about dark skin since the 80s. Hopefully it has been removed from the thought process of the offenders.  Our skin tone, regardless of the shade, is our beautiful wrapping - we are all gifts to the world {wink}

Stay True,
If you enjoyed this post, please be sure to follow me via email subscription.
Enter your email address:


Delivered by FeedBurner
You can also find me on the following Social Networks:
Photographs are under the creative direction of F.D. Harrison and are the property of So What to Twenty!

38 comments:

  1. You are always so stunning and always enjoy your writings. When I was in my twenties, I complained about myself and always wanted to look like everyone else. Boy, I was so clueless. Thank God for growth and maturity lol!

    www.thelifeshecreated.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, thank heavens for growth and maturity, and for people who speak positive into our lives.

      Delete
  2. Gorgeous jumpsuit and hat, but what I love the most is your healthy glow, your lovely skin is gorgeous and set off nicely by the blue. I hope you wear some vivid colors while your skin is this deep shade.
    Boogie Boarding- Yay, I am way too afraid of the waves out here.
    I am sorry for your past, where you were treated in a way that was hurtful.
    Now, I hope, there is nothing but pride in your beauty and strength!]
    For what it is worth, I think one of the most celebrated woman ( in my world, anyway) is Michelle Obama: she embodies all that is lovely about a person, wisdom, strength, intelligence and style. She also seemed to glow when last televised. Keep it, cherish it.
    xx, Elle
    http://www.theellediaries.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with you regarding Michelle Obama. She is a wonderful woman, and in my head, she's my best friend :) Thank you so much, Elle. Since the Maya Angelou experience, I have loved my beautiful skin. I celebrate it each day by caring for it, and dressing it lovely hues to complement it. I was once afraid of the bare fashions of summer, now I can't wait to leap into them.

      Delete
  3. So lovely as always Glenda. I too had my share of back handed comments thrown my way as a young girl into adulthood. Whether is was body type or skin complexion. Through prayer and positive words I have risen above the negative and I love me!!

    Your words are always balm to the soul and this jumpsuit is stunning on you!
    Enjoy your week!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Shon, thank you so much. "Balm to the soul" You touched me with this statement.

      Delete
  4. Beautiful words, beautiful woman. Like you I struggled because I wasn't the worlds notion of beauty. Over the years, and especially now, I see my smooth,glowing skins as a gorgeous asset. It is smooth, soft and shimmers under the moonlight. Best of all, this skin clothes my radiant soul, which is definitely beautiful. I'm loving me for sure. Thank you, my sister.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, Dina. Yes, indeed, you are beautiful.

      Delete
  5. So beautiful. I've struggled with the same thing as far as loving the skin I'm in. It can be especially hard when wherever you turn, society sends subtle (or not so subtle) messages that darker shades equate to being less than pretty. But I am happy with my skin now.

    What a blessing to have listened to Maya Angelou! That must have been wonderful.

    I love this jumpsuit on you. I could see myself in something similar- classy yet casual. Wonderful post as always! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, the Maya Angelou experience is one I will never forget. In the beginning, I just sat staring at her...I couldn't believe we were in the same room. My goodness, the words she spoke - what a magnificent woman she was.

      I'm so glad you have reached an understanding and have fallen in love with your beautiful skin. I'm sure your husband always thinks of it as divine :)

      Delete
  6. Love this post!! I had to learn to love the skin I am in too. Your outfit looks great. Thank you Glenda for writing about this topic!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kery, and thank you! I'm so thankful my story of self-love is resonating with so many women of all races.

      Delete
  7. "Our skin tone...is our beautiful wrapping..." What beautiful, true words, Glenda. I'm so happy that you're now happy in your own skin because you are a truly beautiful woman. I love the jumpsuit! You look amazing in everything! (Thanks for the bonus post this week). xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Elizabeth! I wish I did look good in everything! Well, maybe not, then my closet would be overwhelmingly large. I'm reminded of the lyrics of poet and songwriter, India Arie. In one of her songs, she states, "I am not my hair, I am not this skin. I am the soul that lives within." So true. Our skin is our wrapping.

      Delete
  8. You are gorgeous! I love this so much.

    ReplyDelete
  9. "Loving the skin you're in" covers a lot of ground. More than skin tone, it covers a wealth of things that come under scrutiny by others. I grew up being ridiculed for having curly hair, freckles, glasses and being an introvert, all that were cast in an unfavorable light. For years. It is very difficult to get past those negative voices (especially when they come from family members)and get to the place of self-acceptance. For me it is a journey, not yet a destination. I do love the fact that I am a deep-thinker/introvert. That is something I like best about myself! Trying to be something else to satisfy "the world" leads to disaster and a loss of self. Wishing we had a different skin tone, eye color, were taller, shorter, all of that is a waste of time. Play up the assets (like you do so well!) and play down the things we'd rather not expose. It's a journey. (Love the jumpsuit on you Glenda. I love blue and white!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right on, Karen - Right on! You said it all in your comment. The skin your in is definitely more than skin deep. In order to reach a point of self love, it has to be all of you, not just portions. It's hard to release the painful words of others (especially from those closest to you). Trust me when I say, when your journey reaches that destination, you will set back and smile. You may be closer than you realize. I have discovered, when I can share my hurts with others - it is a sign of release. No longer do I have the urge to hide, but the vulnerability of letting it go for others to glean from is a great sign of arrival.

      Delete
  10. I agree Glenda with you 1200%. I am on the opposite end of the spectrum and similarly suffered the same ridicule from those of my own race. I'm very light-skin and in my youth I was jumped, beat up, called all sorts of names (casper, maggot, red-bone - the list is endless) and it caused me to LOATH and LITERALLY hate my skin tone.

    So loving the skin I'm in took years. At 40 (thats such a magical age - lol) when you no longer give a crap about what anyone thinks of you anymore, I embraced my looks and starting taking much better care of my skin as well (inside and out). I never wore makeup and now I love getting glammed up (even if to just go to the corner store). Folks tell me I shine and glow now, I find it funny (but kind). So I can appreciate the struggle and the reconciliation.

    The jumpsuit is fabulous along with that funky hat. All your ensembles fit you so well and are flattering.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for sharing your story with us. I'm smiling from ear to ear reading your transformation. When a person bullies, it is a true sign of self-hatred. They're so angry with themselves, they feel the need to hurt others. I had to rid myself of biggest bully in my life. It was a separation that needed to be done if I were to move forward in life.

      Thank you for the kind words about my wardrobe choices :)

      Delete
  11. "Our skin tone is our beautiful wrapping". . . what a concept, Thanks. I love this comfy, chic look on you & you have always decorated the wrapping with class & elegance. Kudos my Sista!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah Neti, thank you so very very much. I appreciate you :)

      Delete
  12. Glenda in a jumpsuit. How perfect is that? I think one of the things I admire most about you is that you absolutely glow!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did it Connie. I made the big leap! Who would have thought...Glenda in a jumpsuit. I wore it proudly. I was thirsty - but I wore it proudly :)

      Delete
  13. You are so gorgeous! Loved the jumpsuit too.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Love this jumpsuit on you. Oh how I wish I could wear it too. Never mind, we each have our own ldren at school used to tease me with being skinny. But that is nothing compared to the remarks they made to you. And coming from dark boys makes me understand it even less. I just don't get discrimination at all. What's the big deal whether somebody's skin is red, white, yellow or black? Is it that much different from wearing a red, white, yellow or black skirt? It is a colour for Pete's sake. Alas, the world is a cruel place. Chocolate skin makes so many clothes look so much better than sick looking white.
    Greetje

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wouldn't it be wonderful if the people in the world thought like us fashion lovers. And yes, the mean words where even more awful coming from my own. I now know it was a learned thought process from people who didn't like themselves.

      Delete
  15. You blog made me smile today. When I was a teenager, I thought I was dark skinned cause thats what I wanted to be. So against the advice of the Fashion Fair counsultants I wore dark makeup and Raisin lipstick. Talk about a hot mess! LOL! As usual you're beautiful and that look is everything. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm smiling because I remember so vividly the times I shared with my mother at the Fashion Fair counters. My first introduction into makeup. I don't wear it much now, but it was nice to have colors for dark skin. Thank you for sharing your story with us :)

      Delete
  16. Oh the power of words! How they can hurt us and how they can heal us. You are beautiful Glenda!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes indeed, Kellyann. The words from Maya were so healing. I'll never forget the day.

      Delete
  17. Oh Glenda,
    Thank you so much for sharing. I too am a deep shade of brown. I was ridiculed by girls and boys in school because of it. It took me a long time to love the skin I'm in; however now I love it! And, sadly the back-handed comments/insults are still happening. I had a co-worker remark to me, "they are as dark as you". My thought was your children are darker than I am and you make this comment????�� How ignorant. Anyhow, your blog is fab as always! Love you and I love me too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would have said to your co-worker, "Wow, your children must be beautiful." I would have said it, and meant it.

      Delete
  18. You are a beautiful stylish women -- all of you. And I also love Maya Angelou. I saw her several years ago before she passed and adore all her poetry.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are a part of the blessed people who had the opportunity to be in her presence. Like you, I'm sure, I'll never forget it. I can still hear her voice.

      Delete
  19. Glenda this was an excellent post. I admire how you addressed the whole skin denial and later embraced it. Our (women in general) skin can be challenging at times and finding the right products and regimen is tough. You gave terrific advice on managing eczema. You're rocking your beautiful skin and the fab jumpsuit. Keep doing what you're doing because you're truly shining brightly

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Jamala. Stress is the biggest culprit to eczema. If you can manage stress, it makes everything in your life much more easy. I look back on every part of my life...the good and the bad, and I believe everything has happened to allow me to be the person I am today.

      Delete

Thank you for taking the time to comment, it really means a great deal for me to connect with my So What to Twenty friends. I hope you subscribed via email or by social media - I wouldn't want you to miss anything on our True Style journey. Stay True, Glenda