For my final project I did a poem named “Little Girl,” this poem is mainly targeted toward girls ages 10-17. That age range is crucial when it comes to appearance and comparing themselves to others. The poem talks about loving yourself but focuses on colorism. Colorism happens in every culture, it’s not just a black person issue but it’s becoming more common. Teenagers look at social media and they see black men with white or foreign women. They also see photoshoots of dark-skinned women being lightened. It’s something that takes a toll on dark skinned girls because they feel as though they are not going to be accepted in society. Insecurities start to develop and it shouldn’t be happening at all. I wrote a poem because I enjoy rhyming, I’m not the best at it but I feel as though my poem speaks a message that needs to be heard not just for black girls but, to every young girl that needs a lift of encouragement.
I named the poem little girl because little girls need to be happy and positive. They shouldn’t be worrying about what they possess and don’t possess genetically. I too, was that little girl that wished I had different hair, skin, eyes, etc. I developed insecurity at a young age and I never told my parents about it because I knew that they would just give me a generic pep-talk to like yourself. Even though I am of a lighter tone, it does not exempt me from colorism or developing self-hate. I want my poem to encourage young girls to stop this cycle of mental abuse. Everyone isn’t created the same but that doesn’t mean they are worth any less than the next person. I tried to step outside of the box without sounding generic to love yourself.
When it comes to poems, it’s not every day someone wants to read one unless they are assigned an essay or project. The poem I wrote is short, simple and to the point and I feel like it could relate to the younger generations. This poem could go anywhere: a blog, newspaper, social media, etc. I made it rhyme so it could be interesting to read. Even though each sentence is short, it has a deep meaning to it. I want girls to read the poem and actually grasp what I’m trying to get them to understand. I don’t want them to just skim through the poem but, actually take what I said into consideration and start the process of loving themselves for who they are and not compare to others. Even though I’m 22 years old, I still have moments when I say “wow I wish I had her hair” or something that I compare to. It happens, we’re all human but I don’t let it affect me in a negative way that I use to. I use to wish I’d possess something someone had and then I’d just get sad for the rest of the day. Now, it doesn’t bother me because I know what I have I can’t change and I’ve adapted to love every part of me.
Self-love is vital for someone to live a happy and healthy life mentally and physically. If someone is comparing themselves they’ll never be satisfied for who they are as a person. It will just lead to misery and who wants to live that type of life? True happiness starts from within and friends/lovers should add on to it. No one should make you feel prettier than yourself internally. If we rely on others to make ourselves feel better we will never be satisfied. Say if that person no longer wants to be around, then you’re back at square one hating yourself because you’ve relied on someone to make you feel good.
It’s easier said than done for sure. The process to genuinely love yourself isn’t easy and it’s truly a journey for anyone. The first step to loving yourself is accepting all flaws and being comfortable with what you have. My poem tells the reader that it’s okay to be who you are and not compare. The people you’re comparing yourself to may not be happy with themselves as well. So, there’s no point of wasting time being sad over someone else because of what they have. No life is better than the next, everyone has something they are going through and looks shouldn’t be the life goal achievement. Love yourself and loving your skin are key ingredients to being unstoppable. Once someone reaches that mental state of self-love, nothing can get in their way and I wrote that poem to help young girls see that loving yourself is key.
Love who you are and don’t compare.
Don’t ever say the words “life isn’t fair.”
Love your hair and what you wear.
Love your skin and all of the melanin.
For you were created perfectly.
And you are worthy.
You were created to be something more than appearance.
You are filled with brilliance!
You were created not to be jealous.
Believe it or not everyone has flaws.
What you may wish you had from them, they may not want at all.
God makes no mistakes.
And you are the perfect shape!
You’re perfect in every way.
One day you will realize that what you have is a prize.
Your skin does not define you.
You skin does not mold you.
Your skin doesn’t hate you, so why hate it?
Don’t be ashamed, for all shades are beautiful.
Ellen-Christine Harris (Ellen) is finally a senior at the beautiful Old Dominion University! She will be receiving her bachelor’s degree in Women’s Studies on May 10th. She loves to write poems, listen to music, as well as having “me time.” You can say she’s a bit of an introvert but, she’s very fun once she’s out of her shell. Cooking is a hobby that she loves to do. It’s very therapeutic for her. She loves to look up and create new recipes to broaden her skills. She also braids hair as a “side hustle.” She taught herself how to braid at the age of four years old, since then she’s perfected her craft and built a clientele in the 757 and 804 areas. She’s always curious to learn new things with an open mind. She’s excited to see what this semester has in store!