Ain't I A Woman Collective

Centring the Voices of Women with African Ancestry

Opinion: Define Me: From One Woman of Colour to Another

By Nadine Robinson


Dear Woman of Colour,

Today I write to you! I choose to take this moment to address you and illustrate the importance of you living as yourself – for who you are and not what you parents,  peers or society dictate to you. Your subtle changes in hue does not imply your status in life. It does not stress your level of value within this world even though you are made to believe otherwise. God makes no mistakes therefore you are who you are meant to be.

The judgement and lack of self-awareness infects your mind and destroys your spirit with every harsh word spoken in relation to your skin tone. The lighter you are the brighter you are, the more brightly you shine, the more you are deemed as the epitome of perfection. This is the lie that is fed to us all regardless of our race. The sad thing is we choose to believe it. Why do you not believe that the tightness of your coils and your full lips are just as beautiful? What is it that makes you less than you? The content of your character is what defines you. The racial lines have become so blurred that you now walk through a fog of misunderstandings and ignorance. Years of your life have been lost through translation, maybe not through fault of your own however,  the uncertainty of changing your mind-set has allowed you to conform to the negative connotations attached to the pigmentation of your skin. The tears you cry reflect not only your hurt but the hurt of those women who came before you – the hatred that has been inherited from one generation to the next. Release the ties of mental bondage which ignite the devaluation of beauty from  our ancestor’s experiences. Instead of being consumed with the mass media and latest trends of the latest celebrities, aspire to excel towards a state of self-acceptance,  self-love and self-discovery.  Unlock you worth and become familiar with the notion of you not being defined by your appearance in racial hue. Find the new within the familiar.

When I look at you; I see the warmest of smiles, the most intriguing features, the flawless glimmer of hope in your eyes. I see the strength of your body in every curve and the vulnerability with each strand of hair on your body. I see the confidence in your stride as you sashay pass me. I see the beauty that you fail to see because you do not take the time to appreciate what makes you you. Society will continue to pigeonhole you, and segregate you from yourself.  Uprooting you from your connection with yourself. If you do not accept yourself why expect others to?

The bonds of sisterhood now flimsy from the clear division of light and dark – when really we are one of the same. Women of colour. Embrace one another wholeheartedly.  Break down the walls of prejudice and rebuild a garden of understanding, acceptance and empowerment.  Do not let one another fall short. Do not tear each other down. Educate each other – educate the next generation of beautiful girls and bless them with the power of knowing how to value what the world says is their flaws. They are the ones who depend on you to set the bar. To categorise one another in the aim of solidifying where you fit it is detrimental to you in the long run; in turn having a devastating dominoe effect for those who will come after you.

Live the life you have opposed to living the life that your surroundings stresses you must live.

Be courageous. Be bold. Be smart. Be wise. Be happy. Be aware. Be confident. Be successful. Be involved. Be understanding. Be creative. Be outstanding. Be brave. Be vibrant. Be colourful. Be individual. Be humorous. Be magic. Be graceful. Be educated. Be illuminated. Be beautiful. Be love. Be you.



Image: Steve Crane


About the writer

Nadine Robinson is 31 years old and a mother or three who is currently studying a degree in English Literature and Media at London South Bank University. She is an aspiring author/teacher, poet and blogger who is keen to expand her knowledge both academically and culturally. Her aim (in all that she does) is to inspire others and to make people think and smile one blog post or tweet at a time. Tweet or find her on Instagram @NadineRobinson_ and her website!

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