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“I wished and prayed to be darker” – Pearl Thusi writes on Embracing her Skin Tone as an African Woman

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Co-Host of Lip Sync Battle Africa and actress Pearl Thusi pens down an open letter on Instagram.

Pearl posted a striking photo of herself on Instagram, shot by artistic photographer Islandboi Photography and captioned;

Colour has always been such a big part of my life.
As a child, being teased by other kids. That’s how I became aware of the colour of my skin. That it was different. Being taunted “You only seem pretty because you’re light. You wouldn’t be pretty if you were dark.”
I wished and prayed to be darker. To be accepted. But the sun laughed at my peeling skin revealing a fresh layer of it’s true form because even she couldn’t burn me hard enough.
I didn’t want to be different. I didn’t want to be a target.
Thanks to my parents- I learnt to love and accept the way I looked and I had to defend and represent the authenticity of my blackness with my actions.
You’re heritage, culture, tribe and any other type of validation isn’t determined by the colour of your skin.
I wasn’t dark enough, but I grew a proud, black African woman. But because I know who I am, where I am from and where I am going- I can wear ANY colour with pride. What’s beneath my skin is what truly defines me.
Be who you are.
Who you choose to be.
Be who you feel compelled to be to meet your destiny.
Your colour has little to do with it compared to your determination.
Be a warrior.
Man or woman.
Black or white.
We are one.
Our colours can unite harmoniously to make a motherland so strong and indivisible that the beauty is envied by all the universe.?

Colour has always been such a big part of my life. As a child, being teased by other kids. That’s how I became aware of the colour of my skin. That it was different. Being taunted “You only seem pretty because you’re light. You wouldn’t be pretty if you were dark.” I wished and prayed to be darker. To be accepted. But the sun laughed at my peeling skin revealing a fresh layer of it’s true form because even she couldn’t burn me hard enough. I didn’t want to be different. I didn’t want to be a target. Thanks to my parents- I learnt to love and accept the way I looked and I had to defend and represent the authenticity of my blackness with my actions. You’re heritage, culture, tribe and any other type of validation isn’t determined by the colour of your skin. I wasn’t dark enough, but I grew a proud, black African woman. But because I know who I am, where I am from and where I am going- I can wear ANY colour with pride. What’s beneath my skin is what truly defines me. Be who you are. Who you choose to be. Be who you feel compelled to be to meet your destiny. Your colour has little to do with it compared to your determination. Be a warrior. Man or woman. Black or white. We are one. Our colours can unite harmoniously to make a motherland so strong and indivisible that the beauty is envied by all the universe ? . ? @bellisima81 . ? @islandboiphotography . ?? @_blackpearlhair .

A post shared by Pearl Thusi (@pearlthusi) on

9 Comments

  1. Frank teacher

    April 20, 2017 at 2:16 pm

    In Ludacris voice;
    “The grass is always green on the other side.”

  2. fioname

    April 20, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    light skin girls always trying to tap into the sob story of colourism.
    please STFU and accept the bias the world gives you already.

    • Cocolette

      April 20, 2017 at 2:49 pm

      Bullies like you make light-skinned girls feel less than what they are because of your own insecurities. When I was little, because of people like you, I would walk on the very edge of the road practically inside the bushes because I thought I was too ‘conspicuous’, I would even wish I could shrink.
      But you know what, accept and enjoy your own skin and the opportunities it brings you while we accept ours with the opportunities it brings us. Quit trying to bully ‘light skinned’, everyone has their own struggles irrespective of skin tone.

    • Bella

      April 20, 2017 at 3:01 pm

      bitter much!! Ps YES, I am light skinned!!

    • LL

      April 20, 2017 at 3:03 pm

      The same way you’re expressing bias against her already

    • Adunnie

      April 21, 2017 at 12:18 am

      @fioname really??? Sob story? Smh. You have no idea how I was bullied by mean girls like you when I was in primary school. I hated going to school. Just because I was lighter they found every means possible to taunt me. They called me all sorts of names. It’s because of bullies like you people don’t talk. You just assume every light skin person or anyone your myopic mind cannot comprehend having a struggle must want to engage in a pity party. Till this day I still struggle with accepting my skin tone. I always wish I have my mum’s beautiful brown skin.
      I HATE BULLIES!!! People like you are worse than the devil.

  3. Sunshiney

    April 20, 2017 at 3:47 pm

    I always thought Africans preferred light skinned girls so why would her skin colour be an issue? I think she looks like a typical pretty SA woman. It’s not as if there is a lack of light skinned SAfrican black women.

    Maybe “blackness” and skin colour mean different things to African people across the diaspora, where I come from many people look like Rihanna, Tatiana Ali, Karyn Parsons and Gabrielle Reece and they’re all black to me despite their skin colour differences. What is a fact is that 150 years ago we would have all been the same field planting sugar-cane for the colonial masters.

    But I cannot discount her hurt feelings about being light skinned.

  4. mr x

    April 20, 2017 at 3:57 pm

    Damn I don’t get why this is an issue at all. Some people shouldn’t be born. Weak minds everywhere. I have my fair share of scares going through life. skin color should be the least of anybodies worries. I grew up with skinheads around me and I survive them. I am dark skin as it gets. Man the fuck up or women your ass up and stop complaining about your skin color. Play with the hand life has dealt you. I can’t just deal with everyone trying to make what is not an issue a dramatic problem. It has always being survival of the fittest irrespective of your skin color yo.

  5. cath.

    April 21, 2017 at 9:36 am

    When people do not have any problem, they create imaginary ones! Some people fear happiness

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