Describe a favorite book or movie where the main character has to decide something difficult. What did you think about their choice?

Growing up I have always been that “dark skin girl with the light skinned best friend”. Always being used by the people around me just to get closer to my best friend. They would purposefully talk about all the good things about them, that I didn’t seem to have, in front of me to make me feel worse about the fake friendship they with me. And of course, the jokes about being too dark rolled in as well. It very demeaning my character and downing my self-confidence just because I wasn’t light enough. I started to not feel enough just to be around my best friend. But of course, it was my fault for allowing them to do these things. I was only in elementary going into middle school. I never thought it was wrong since I had grown up in that type of environment my entire life.
Then suddenly, my mom gave me a book that my sister read once when she was going through the same thing with her skin color. This extraordinary and beautiful book is called, “The Skin I’m in” by Sharon G. Flake. A dark-skinned girl named, Maleeka, allowed people to influence her in the wrong ways because she really disliked her skin so much. The popular antagonist in the story named Char, made a deal saying that she would stick up for her, bring her cool clothes, and even let her hang out with the cool kids if Maleeka does her homework for her. And because Maleeka desperately wants to fit in and not be made fun of for the skin color she was born with, she complies. Even goes too far into getting in trouble for Char, setting a classroom on fire, and even almost getting raped by 3 boys since Char abandoned her at a party. Even the boy she had a crush on decided to stop talking to her because he was afraid of people making fun of him as well. Her self-esteem was really low.
It wasn’t until she got fed up with being treated so poorly, that she finally stopped caring what people were saying about her and decided to stand up for herself. And in the end gets all the things she needed in herself.
What I took from this book was how it was incredibly raw and relatable. It was so realistic that it made complete sense in everything that was being said and done. I started to compare and contrast the similarities from Maleeka to myself. And it helped me to appreciate my skin color. It helped me to see that a color is just a color in which to take joy in. Not to be ashamed of because of what my peers where told to believe in. It’s not just the self-esteem, confidence, and beauty that comes with my color, but of course the overcoming, hard work, and creation in it. I became that girl that as soon as I learned that I was beautiful to go on my social media and post the new hard-earned truth of it in pictures and reading more books about overcoming that specific insecurity. I became a die-hard fan in promoting positivity and compliments to others no matter what skin color they were. I eventually stopped allowing people to use me just to get to the ones close to me. I decided to just be the person that grows and grows. I learned myself along the way and no matter what or who I am; I’m black, dark, and beautiful. And that’s just the way I like it!

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