• Kay Turner

30. Too Dark to Be a Princess?

Isn’t she lovely? Isn't she pretty? Truly the angel's best. Boy, I'm so happy. We have been Heaven blessed” (singing Stevie Wonder off key with all my heart and soul)


Seriously though, I have so much love for my girls and I am intentional about instilling so much love into them. So imagine my shock when Ava says to me:

“Mommy I’m too dark to be a princess. I wish I had vanilla skin and flat hair like a princess”

Whaaaaaat? It was a serious gut punch. I was outdone! As I worked on picking my mouth up off the floor, I kept thinking where did she get this idea from. I reminded her that there are brown princesses. Tiana! Moana! Jasmine! Growing up with little representation, I feel like to have brown princesses is huge success. But for my baby girl, darker than everyone else in the house and with curly natural hair, none of these princesses looked like her. Where are the darker skinned, natural haired, black princesses? Where can she see herself?


What I was doing clearly wasn’t enough and so over the last few weeks I have been even more intentional. I've not just been looking for all black girls but black girls who look like Ava.


I want to take this time to share what I have found that has been helpful. Hopefully it will help with anyone else needing it. These have all been great conversation starters for tough conversations I didn’t know how to have, as well as examples of the greatness my little girl can achieve.

Sulwe

By: Lupita Nyong'o

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

This book has been a game changer for our family. Specifically because Ava has her sister (Savannah) who is lighter than her. We read Sulwe daily at Ava’s request. Its about a little girl darker than her sister and everyone else in her family. She tries everything to become lighter so she can be as beautiful, until one night she learns that her dark skin is as bright and beautiful just as it is.


When God Made You

By: Matthew Paul Turner

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Little Black girl with braided hair? Yes, please! This book is all about the beauty in us not only physically but all that makes us beautiful and important. As an artist at heart, the colors and expression in this book really speaks to her.


Doc McStuffins

Disney

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Yes baby girl, you can be a doctor too! Not only like Doc McStuffins but her mom too! Our pediatrician is (in my biased opinion) the most amazing pediatrician out there! The kids see her for everything. BUT, she’s still white. It is nice to be able to give my girls representation that they can succeed in fields where they have none.


Queen of Katwe

Disney

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Who knew there was a whole Disney movie that took place in Africa (that's not Lion King)? I certainly didn’t! Ava was excited to see a movie that had mostly “chocolate” characters and not all “vanilla” people. And yes, QUEEN of Katwe. What’s better than being a princess? Being a QUEEN. Make it even better, the focus is on Chess! Although she is beautiful, she isn’t a queen because of her beauty (though she is beautiful) but because of her brains.

Jingle Jangle

Netflix

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Netflix's new, predominantly black casted, Christmas film showcases all different shades of brown skin. Its full of beautiful natural hair styles and gorgeous dresses! Ava was so excited to watch and sing and dance along! All of my children were! Not to mention afterward we tried to recreate Journey's hairstyle from the movie and Ava was so excited to see the finished style.


I Am Enough

Grace Byers

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

I just knew from the cover that we needed this one! Do you see that gorgeous natural hair? Free and beautiful! It was a perfect reminder that she is perfect as she is. That she can succeed and that there is a place for her in this world.


Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History

Vashti Harrison

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

It’s so easy to find information on Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, and Ruby Bridges. While they are legendary, it is nice to find a book for little girls that also teaches about some lesser know legendary black women. Mary Bowser, Alice Ball, and Ida B. Wells. The author takes it a step further and depicts these women as little characters that are relatable for little girls. Educational and Inspirational.

Making sure my children can see examples of themselves in the world they're living in is so important to me. While this moment is one I had hoped to avoid it was definitely a learning experience. Now I know not only how my baby girl is feeling but I also know what she needs to grasp how beautiful and important she is. Here's a little black girl magic for you.


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