Years ago when I was in middle school my class did a pin-pal event so that we could learn what school was like for kids in other parts of the world. I was obsessed with all things Japan while in the 6th grade and had to have a Japanese pin-pal. My teacher actually didn’t allow me to send a letter to a non-English speaking country, but I was determined to have a Japanese pin-pal anyway.
So, I researched a random school in japan and sent them a letter. I never heard back from them but while playing an online role-playing-game (MMORPG) I wound up telling that story to someone who said they were from Japan but grew up in Australia.
I would always sneak downstairs well past my bedtime to play this online game and meet up with this friend to chat and level up. The longer we played together the more comfortable I became with opening up to this person about my life. Luckily, I had been taught about internet safety and so I wasn’t giving up all my personal information but we had exchanged social media and she could see from my face book profile that I looked nothing like my avatar.
My online friend commented on how my avatar looked completely different from me. After all, my avatar was white looking while I was black. She asked why and my reply to her was “I don’t Know,” but In the back of my mine I was thinking how all of the armor and character customization just looked better on a white avatar. There was this super cute pink heart armor that I thought looked absolutely adorable but I didn’t think that it would look good on a brown avatar.
In a joking manner I revealed to her that the armor I wanted would look cuter on this character and she just let out an “oh”. But days letter I got a message from her and it was the image of a cherry blossom tree.I thought nothing of it and ignored the message but many years later a dark skin black woman had gone viral for being roasted online due to her pink hair. Despite the fact that people sought to shame her for her dark skin and colorful hair, one commentator stood out among the rest.
In the comments section a man posted the image of a cherry blossom tree and likened that beautiful dark-skinned woman to that beautiful tree. The wood of a cherry blossom tree is a deep, dark, brown and bursts of pink shoot out from its branches.
His response immediately brought me back to my online game playing days and the time when I too had thought that bright colors didn’t look good on dark skin. His response was ray of light against all the mean-spirited comments that young woman received and for a moment I wondered if my online friend had been trying to send me the same message.
We’ve come a long way in America and it’s nice to see dark skin women embracing the beauty that is their skin by dawning all kinds of shades. We truly are iconic no matter the material.
So if you’re a black girl who’s ever been afraid of wearing something outside of neutral tones I hope this Valentine’s day you get the pink-me-up you need. Black in Pink is iconic.
Lilith is a blogger with an emphasis in writing and reflecting upon social agendas that effect black women. When not at her computer writing she is more than likely still at her computer, programming. On the rare occasion that Lilith isn’t at her laptop you can attempt to find her exploring the Chicago food scene or attending workshops in creative writing.