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Subject: Dark Girl In The Shadows Of This Light World

Dear Steve and Shirley,

I am a 21-year-old college student that is struggling with embracing her beauty. Ever since I was young I’ve been closest of friends with light-skinned girls. I myself would be considered dark-skinned. At first I never noticed how unacknowledged I was because I was just in middle school. Once I started to pay more attention to my looks I realized the only time I would be looked at is if I had on tight clothes because I’m curvy. Throughout high school I dated a few different guys, and they all cheated on me. By the time I got to college I just really wanted to be wanted and settled for situations with guys that really never deserved my time. Later, I realized that I settled for all those situations because I did not think I was worth anything better and just wanted to get in where I fit in. I’ve been struggling with my security with myself ever since high school. I just always felt like I was my friends shadow, the black girl with the big butt and her gorgeous light-skinned friend. I used to always wear a long curly weave to be a little more accepted and fit in with the girls I was around. Once I got to college I ended up living with all light-skinned girls. But my style was more appealing and I just knew I looked good and couldn’t be overlooked anymore. Yet, I was still my roommates shadow everywhere we went. It even got to the point of someone approaching our group of girls and making eye contact while speaking, with everyone but me. Guys my age don’t care how they come off. I’m always told I’m pretty for a dark-skinned girl. Or I have to hear about how my guy friends just would never be attracted to a dark-skinned girl. I recently watched the movie called “Dark Girls” on Oprah’s network and I was happy to see that there is light being shed on the situation. My mother and sister tell me I’m beautiful all the time but my dad and brother, not so much. My dad dates a light-skinned woman (other than my mom because they are divorced), and my brother dates a white girl. So for me, everything in my life but my mom, sister and boyfriend is telling me that I am not considered beautiful. From the media to these stupid social networks that we are all so wrapped in. Once I graduate I will be out in to this real world and my security will be important for me to have. I just want to know what I can do to really break through this blanket that causes me to be unseen in most people’s eyes. The curvy dark girl

Listen to Shirley and Steve respond to this letter below:

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