Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Dress Your Best Week - Day 2: Thick skin

Tee: Target (men's undershirt)
Skirt: J Crew
Belt: Banana Republic
Scarf: gift from my uncles
Booties: Aldo
Bracelet: gift from our intern, A
Earrings: Turkey

Today, I'm celebrating my skin. This is a big step for me because I have not loved my skin for most of my life. This is another one of the things that I have learned to love about myself, mostly because it does its job. Skin is important, y'all.

So, when we moved to the States, Oprah taught my mom English. What I mean by that is that my mom watched Oprah to learn English. I thought Oprah was the most beautiful woman in the world, and I was pretty sure that in order to be beautiful, I had to be a lot darker than I was.

By the time I got to high school, I'd get a lot of "Aren't Puerto Ricans supposed to be darker?" comments. And though I knew - I know - that we come in a variety of shades, I felt like I was lacking. I was jealous of my sister's caramel tone, and I hid my skin, especially my legs, for many years because of their whiteness.

I don't know when things changed, when I got over the hiding and started showing off my skin and really caring for it - because it is seriously dry and flaky no matter how much cocoa butter I rub into it. I've been embracing my skin, though, in all it's (relatively) pale glory. I'm thankful that I can wear colors like green and yellow and orange. I'm thankful that jewel tones pop against my skin. I'm thankful that I rarely burn out in the sun, and that if I do, it turns to a tan the very next day. I'm thankful that white shows off my tan when I've got one and that I look good in black whether I'm tanned or not.

This is my skin. I'm finally okay with it.


  1. Love your outfit! Love your writting! And love you more!

  2. How interesting that your mother learned English from Oprah...and that your take on your beautiful skin color is the opposite of the usual American narrative, the fairer the better.

  3. I'm the same way! I'm not Puerto Rican but I'm Italian and would get comments that I'm the whitest Italian they've ever seen. Meh. I used to go tanning and have since learned that the more pale I am now due to lack of sun time, the better I'll look when I'm older. So I embrace the pale.

    I love this outfit on you! You are a master with scarves and you make me want to buy more! I don't have nearly enough. :)

  4. I love you, too, mamita linda. <3

  5. Yeah, I was actually talking about that with my husband and some of our interns the other day. Part of it is that most of my baby dolls were Black, and my favorite Barbie was the one dark haired one that I had. And then all I saw on tv was Oprah, so.... I was impressionable child, I guess. Hahaha

  6. I am not opposed to lying out on the beach (covered in the requisite SPF 15-30), but I am terrified of tanning beds, so for most of the year, I'm my natural shade of pale olive.
    And seriously, scarves are my favorite accessory for a pop of color or a little textural or visual interest.


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