I used to hate my skin color. I was exposed to an environment where it was implied being light-skinned is better. It was during the teenage years that I thought brown skin is ugly, unattractive. It has become a norm in our society to call brown-skinned women with labels such as “negra”, “anino”, “sunog”, etc. They even used the words “exotic beauty” to describe women like us, as if we’re some kind of an alien in this country.

By that standard, I have become very careful with the color of the clothes that I will wear because I’m afraid that it will make me look darker. I loathed bright and neon colors. I used to feel inferior about my looks. I wasn’t confident enough. And for years, I lived with that kind of ideology. I was grateful that I found the turning point in my life and realized that I set my own standards of beauty. I have more power within myself to speak confidently. To speak the truth. Morena is not synonymous with ugly. Morena is beauty. We lived in a country where skin hierarchy exists. Where people draw lines between these two skin colors. And it has to stop now. Having tan and brown skin doesn’t mean we’re any less of a person. We don’t have exotic beauty because we are in a country where tan and brown skin is normal. It’s time to simply say that morena women are amazing just as the mestiza girls.

We wake up everyday in our morena skin and we owe it to ourselves to be proud of it. We deserve to love our absolute selves. Let our skin shine and radiate its natural color. No more hiding. No more shaming. No more fearing. Wear that bright neon dress. Or that neutral colored blouse. Know that any hue is just perfect for you. Flaunt your skin and let it glow under the sun. Try that blonde hair. You’ll be stunning. No color shade can ever dictate the measures of our beauty. Shun those voices that say otherwise. Embrace yourself. Scream out loud that you’re proud to be morena.

These are the truth. We are beautiful. We are majestic. We are enough. And morena girls slay too.

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