How do you help your children become proud of their dark skin?

Is your boy or girl upset because of the color of her/his hair or skin? Is he or her embarrassed because he or she doesn’t look like his or her friends? How do you help them become proud of who they are and look?

kids with dark skin

This mom has that problem with her daughter and is asking for your help.

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  1. Jennifer says:

    “We all have special qualities,” as you said. I’m sure that, with you as her mom, your daughter will grow up to be the most secure, self-assured woman possible.

  2. Color. We see it all around us. Girls gravitate toward the blonde barbies, why? Commercials, television, magazine ads push this. I have always bought a barbie of every color to have in the house for the girls. Your advice to her was great. All we can do is remind them of how beautifully creative they are, beautifully intelligent, beautifully compassionate.

  3. I think the messages you’re giving her are right on. Let her see you appreciating how you look. Emphasize colors you like that look especially good with your skin tone and that sort of thing. Loving yourself is possibly even more important than the overt messages you give her.

    Unfortunately, the media is still surrounding us with a pretty narrow depiction of beauty. But it is getting better and there are options you can seek out in books, toys, films, etc. Role models of strong women from all over the world can help too.

    We’re white, but dark haired. My girl with gorgeous almost black hair is talking about dying it blonde. But then again, she’s also died it red, blue and pink so this is probably just a phase.

    Keep up the good work. It’s a great issue to talk about.

  4. Thank you for sharing these great tips!

  5. Not so long ago I saw a video where a black child was asked to pick which doll she would play with. There was a black doll and a white doll and she picked the white one. When she was asked why she indicated the doll was prettier and better than the white one.

    I was shocked. I wondered how at such a young age a child could already sense the negative associations in our society with people of color. I’m a blue-eyed blonde so I was quite surprised by this.

    I think an image is worth a thousand words and I think there just aren’t enough images of diversity in our world – the advertising world, on television, in movies — and that children (who are sponges) soak this all in. If I think about all the shows I watch on television most of the actors are white. Same with my fashion and beauty magazines. I’d be very curious to know what the ratio is.

    My suggestion is that you put as many images of powerful, beautiful dark-haired and dark skinned people in front of your child as you can. I’ve been showing my daughters (7&9) some of the photo-shopping videos online so they can know that what they see in magazines isn’t real and they shouldn’t compare themselves to those images.

    It’s a tough road, but information is power. As we know there isn’t one race, shape or size that is the only standard of beauty. Beauty comes in all races, shapes and sizes. But we’re fighting against a lot of racism and inequity out there.

  6. vanessa says:

    thank you for sharing this touchy subject. great tips!

  7. Caryn B says:

    Thank you so much for the tips… children are too young at this point to realize they are of ethnic descent…but I remember feeling this way as a young girl growing up and going to a predom. Caucasian school. I plan to have a discussion with my children about their “roots” and discuss this as they get older