Admiration For Pigmentation
by Asya Bridger
I think one of the most beautiful pieces of art is the human body itself. The way it functions, what it is capable of, we all are original pieces designed by the greatest artist alive — God. However just like art we have critics, people that look upon someone’s rare creation and judges it’s worth. Its true! We live in a world where there is levels to beauty and stages to acceptance. We all range in different shapes, sizes, proportions, however the biggest emphasis we make is on our skin color. I was aware of the self-consciousness many people had towards their skin, however it did not hit me until one day at work. I was conversing with two woman at my job, and we were on the topic of cosmetics and skincare. One women had what we call, a “caramel” skin tone, while the other women’s skin was a rich “dark chocolate” complexion. She ended up admitting that she was not fond of her skin, and her reaction was far from confident when I expressed the beauty of pigmented skin. The remainder of the day I was unsettled with the thought that an individual of age, was still unhappy with her outward appearance. Then it dawned upon me, how many ladies of all ages are waking up resenting their skin tone? Why is dark skin pigmentation not celebrated like the lighter skin crowd? Why are these woman or men for that matter lacking confidence?
Dark Skin? Light Skin? Is Skin Just Really Skin?
We are all aware the belittlement of skin color has been around for years. Racism plays the biggest role, and impacts a lot of the stress on skin pigmentation. Some people may disagree and say that the issue of racism is not so much a problem nowadays. Yet the stress on skin pigmentation has been on the rise, especially in the African American communities. You would think that we would move on from our troublesome pass, and judge others due to character. However so many of us are stuck in the past, and knowingly or unknowingly humiliating individuals for something they cannot control. Before I carry on, let’s look into the reasons we all vary in skin color.
We all know that genetics plays a big part in our skin color. We can be a mishmash of shades depending on our parents. However the color itself is primarily due to a pigment called melanin. Melanin is produced by melanocyte cells within the skin, thus those with darker pigmentation have more melanin within their skin. In addition, freckles and beauty marks is evidence of higher concentration of pigment in certain areas. Melanin also protects the skin against harmful UV rays. Those with a darker complexion are less likely to burn than those with a lighter skin tone. Nonetheless no matter who you are, we should protect our skin with sunscreen.
Knowing the purpose and benefits of melanin can change our outlook on viewing skin. It is ignorant of us to make fun of those with darker complexions, when their skin is actually the bomb dot com. The comparison of skin colors, is just one of the epitomes of ignorance within this generation. The light skin vs. dark skin dispute is far from humorous when we think about how far humanity has come. The ordeals our ancestors were persecuted for, we find to be comical. Think about it! Skin color was the main reason for slavery. Most Caucasian people at the time felt that pigmented (colored) skin color was a pure abomination. They viewed something that we could not control, as impure and distasteful. Yet we make jokes, or whisper in disgust when seeing someone with a darker complexion. It is complete arrogance!
Therefore today I am setting the stage for a new beginning. Although we cannot wipe everyone from being benighted, we can choose to stop spreading the ignorance. Woman and men of darker skin tones have been the gem of beauty for years. Whether you have never acknowledged it, their skin captures attention in which your eyes cannot depart from.
Models such as the ones shown below, are the cherry-on-top for inspiration and portray the exquistness in dark skin.
I don’t know about you, but whenever I see photos like these in a magazine, I cannot help but stare. The way rich, pigmented skin catches light is remarkable, and no other skin tone can compare in my opinion. I think it’s time we take the emphasis of our skin tones, and start looking at the big picture. If we continue to look at the outward appearance of people, we lose out on knowing some beautiful faces. In addition, if you are self-conscious about the color of your skin, you are probably less charismatic. Hence, failing to know our worth can hinder us from so many opportunities.
Psalms 139:14 “I will praise you; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made:..”
This is something we should confess anytime Satan tries to discourage us on our appearance. We were created in the likeness of God, therefore we are far from unqualified. Therefore began to love the skin you are in, because beauty isn’t what’s adorned on the outside. True beauty is what flows out of the heart, as your daily walk is being enriched in holiness. Thus my admiration for pigmentation is just a small ripple in this ocean called society. However just as ripples grow and affect still waters, my unwavering stand will continuously spread.