T- by Takeallah RussellGrowing up, I believed that I was not beautiful because of my dark skin and slim figure (in the African American community, darker and smaller bodies are not greatly desired). I was constantly rejected by my schoolgirl crushes because I was "too dark", "too skinny", or "too nerdy." As I grew older, I began to embrace my body and my self, leaving behind feelings of rejection, insecurity, and inadequacy.

 I love my body because it adapts to everything that has been thrown its way, from racism to sexism!   As a result, I desire to empower other girls of color who have been told they are "too skinny" and "too dark". My vision of beauty differs from the mainstream because it embraces dark skin and Women of Color as beautiful!

Takeallah is a Doula, Lactation Counselor, and Childbirth Educator. You can find her at http://www.burningbrabirthswa.com/

Your StoriesErin Bagwell