Reading this Persephone Magazine article where a self-professed ‘fat girl’ explained why she likes wearing bright-colored tights despite the stares she gets for showing off her not-skinny legs reminded me of my own hesitation to wear bright colors because of my dark skin.
Most of my work wardrobe is black. Not because of its slimming effect, but because I feel it makes me blend in to the crowd. Despite the exhortations of friends and my mother to wear jewel tones, which pop against my deep brown skin, I usually resist. My mom bought me a white dress for Easter and even though it looks great on me, I kept staring at the contrast between my dark legs and the white fabric when I tried it on.
Yes, logically, I know that my skin will look dark no matter what I wear. But I still cling to my neutral tones, believing they somehow make my “otherness” less obvious. I’ve changed a little, trying on bright camisoles under dark cardigans -inspired by my fashion icon Michelle Obama. She’s not afraid to wear whatever makes her look beautiful, others be damned.
I know this post will sound trivial to some. But I doubt those people have never been the sole brown face in a crowd of white, over and over and over again. It takes its toll…
Images from the Michelle Obama Look Book