By: K.D. Wrights
Everyone has a life, some short and others long. Everyone has their own sense of living that life happily, whether they have supporters or not. Everyone has a name, with a story following it. Well, I have a name and story to tell. My name is Kayla and I am a Black girl.
When you hear the phrase, ‘black girl’, what comes to your mind? It can positive or negative based on the media or your own personal opinion. Do you know a black girl personally? Like, know her whole name and family? No? Yes? Well, I can introduce myself so you actually understand how it feels to be a Black girl. Maybe…
I don’t really like to go back in time to my childhood because it wasn’t all that great. I mean, I have good memories from family trips to small sleepovers. I had a few close friends, only one surviving to be my friend till this day but most of my peers didn’t think I was worth a friendship. I was bullied most of my school years. The only reason why I can say I was bullied was out of pure jealousy. I’m not trying to sound like a conceited brat but that’s why most girls hate on each other. I don’t know what made girls jealous of me and I took that pretty hard. Other than the bullying, my life is pretty simple.
Life as a Black girl is challenging enough but when bullying gets involved, it’s a whole other ballpark. Let me put it to you this way: everyone bullied me. I wasn’t only bullied by Black girls but the White ones too. I couldn’t understand the relation between the two but I slowly started picking up on it in eighth grade. I remember girls saying how “skinny” I was and that if they fought me, I’d probably die from one touch…Yeah, that has been said to me before.
They would ridicule me and call me every hateful word in the book…It got to me too. I made a decision one night, that if I died, no one would miss me. I thought it over and over, certain that I’d go with my tragic plan. I was only thirteen and in my head, I wouldn’t miss anything about life. I wouldn’t miss the anxiety of starting high school or having a high school sweetheart. I don’t know what it was but something stopped me and I put the piece of broken glass down. I had to fight back and show these girls that I’m stronger than my body weight. I would continue to see what about my body and personality made girls “hate” me.
By the time ninth grade ended, I had a conclusion for my bullying. I was being bullied for the past seven years for not just my bubbly personality and caring spirit, but for the way I was shaped. I like to say I’m average but to everyone else, I’m dying of anorexia. The Black girls didn’t care for me because my body didn’t resemble their thickened bodies. The White girls really didn’t like me because I was their ideal size.
I was fourteen and I thought it was super silly for girls to be so worried about their bodies–but I had to remember that this time of a girl’s life is crucial. I tried to not let it bother me but sometimes I couldn’t hold the tears back. When I cried, I kept repeating to myself how it wasn’t fair how I was beating treated. However, the taunting death wish kept creeping across my mind and how easy it’d be to just end it all.
My life as Black girl surely isn’t like other girls. Maybe I do share the same story with another girl of the same race or another but it isn’t the same exactly. A White girl will most likely be bullied for her size and maybe her hair but it’s much more for a Black girl. A Black girl will be bullied for everything that represents her and honestly, it isn’t fair.
How can pronouncing words fully and liking pop make you any less of being Black? How can changing your hairstyle from long, straight weave to colored braids make you “ghetto”? How can being less than 130 pounds with a slender figure make you “not Black”? How can writing or drawing make you different from someone who doesn’t? How can your self worth be based on the thicker girl’s worth? How can the shade of your skintone be what you’re worth? With these questions still lingering in my head from what I see and hear today, I must admit I found a hatred for people who looked like me.
I didn’t want to associate myself with anyone who was Black because they all seemed to have found something wrong with me. I never tried to talk to any of the Black girls and turned down every Black boy’s request of my time. I became antisocial entirely because I was sick of feeling unworthy of people’s expectations of me. Once I became comfortable with myself, which is when I had cut my hair at end of my junior year, I became somewhat friendly with a barrier.
I didn’t care what anyone had to say anymore because who are they to me? I couldn’t find a group of friends because most girls from my high school saw friendship as a trap but I did date some guys. I can say I loved myself by 17 and I can say I still do now. I had to teach myself not to be bothered by every little thing because I knew I was stronger than that. I also had to understand that everyone’s perception of me was based on the media or a really hateful boy. I just began to write more and focus on what I could achieve. I began to stop worrying about the next person.
I’m really happy to see more support groups for girls like me. I’m really glad to see people are more accepting of a slender Black girl. I had noticed years ago that besides my speech and skin tone wasn’t a surprise but my weight also. Why do people think Black people come in one shape and personality? That question didn’t bother me as much as Black people acting even sillier towards me because of it.
Black boys swore I was mixed with the skinniest race and Black girls swore I was starving myself. My best friend can disagree with both but she says, “Have you seen a skinny girl eat? They never stop eating!” It’s true; I snack way too much. Once I finally knew only the people who cared to know me would understand me. I stopped trying to prove myself to my peers and guys who would never see my worth unless they wanted to. There’s nothing wrong with being a skinny girl or a Black one at that.
I am strongly against bullying and I showcase it everyday. There’s always three stories on what really is going on so I try to be open minded. Bullying is crucial to both boys and girls, and it can have a lingering effect on us. Kids shouldn’t be bullied on their skin tone or hobbies. I’d like to say the way the person is has come from parenting or whoever they were looking up to. Who is really teaching the younger generations?
Every child has hopes and dreams to fulfill but that can all be altered just by a group of kids continuing to ridicule him or her. Someday, I’d like to have a program or place for kids to be able to be themselves. The only way a child can really achieve the greatest is having the ability to do it. Bullying stops a person from dreaming, possibly seeing the beauty within themselves.
I plan on continuing to love myself and the ones who love me. I plan to have published work so everyone can see what I’m capable of. I plan to further my education, degrees or not. I want to see the world throughout my life, not all at once. I hope to be a great mother and wife, starting my life with a wonderful, intelligent man. I want to get more in tune with myself and what I enjoy so I am finding new things to try out.
People don’t think Black women have natural talent, or anything natural. I know I’m not the only one who beats this stereotype. I am just one of the many Black girls who are conquering goals every day of their lives. People don’t think we have goals and are just plain fat and lazy. Sure…believe what you want but us Black women are slaying.