I didn’t know what skin bleaching was until I was eleven and I asked my mom why one of my aunties was much lighter than her sister. My mother explained that she lightened her skin using creams and that you can tell by looking at her knuckles. I didn’t quite understand but I surmised that it was the reason why my auntie’s skin looked blemished and uneven and I wondered why someone would choose that over the smooth and even beauty of her sister’s skin and my mother’s skin and all the other women I admired in life.
I’ve always known black to be beautiful and I’ve never despised my lighter brown tones, but there has always been something about the deepness of my mother’s black skin that I find irresistible. Maybe it’s the way the light reflects or the way brightly coloured lace and gele look next to it, I don’t know but I’ve always thought it to be perfection of some sort.