It’s hard to believe anyone would call this gorgeous Royal Girl anything but beautiful. But growing up, some people did consider 10-year-old Kheris Rogers ugly.
The California native tells CBS Los Angeles how she was bullied in school for having darker skin by both teachers and kids.
“I just didn’t feel I was that pretty,” she tells CBS LA. “I thought I was really ugly, after people telling me that I was ugly.”
One incident that has stuck with her happened in first grade when her teacher asked the class to draw themselves. The teacher had handed her a black crayon to color her picture but she refused to use it. She says she was brown and not black. Her mother ended up moving her to a more diverse school, thinking this will fix the problem but the bullied continued.
And most of Kheris’ bullies were black girls, like herself. The teasing had Kheris nearly hating her the skin she was in, but her support system would not let her falter. Kheris oldest sister, Taylor, started sharing photos of her on Twitter with the hashtag #FlexinInMyComplexion. Her hopes were to lift her baby sister’s self-esteem by letting her know she was beautiful, from her thick black hair to her sun-kissed skin. The posts resonated with thousands and immediately started going viral.
Soon the positive reactions encouraged Kheris to create her own Twitter feed. Her posts are both motivating and empowering. Every other tweet, she is reassuring self-love and confidence, addressing herself as ‘Queen-in-training’ and ‘royalty’.
Kheris is now a business owner. She has used her experience to create a fashion line for young girls with a similar story. Her t-shirts- Flexin’ In My Complexion- are becoming a huge success. Instead of sinking under her haters (we prefer that term better), she is now clapping back with a new response.
“Everybody is pretty in their own way,” she tells CBS LA. She also encourages other girls to believe in themselves.
Kheris’ story is an example of a systematic racism that’s known as colorism in the African-American community. The origins stem from slavery and its focused on the idea that lighter skin is better and more beautiful than darker skin (i.e. the paper bag test). Although this segregated system is still played out in some form today, thankfully, we’re now seeing more appreciation for the beautiful brown. Hashtags such as #blackgirlsrock, #melanin and now #FlexinInMyComplexion flood our social media. Black is beautiful in all shades. And we’re so glad that girls like Kheris are finally seeing their worth and beauty. Kudos Queen!
To support Kheris and amazing movement click here
A working journalist, entrepreneur and founder of RoyalTee Enterprises. Born and raised in Tampa, Fla. The vision of RoyalTee was inspired in 2015 by Alexia’s ambitions to return to her passion for creative writing and publishing and create a platform to showcase the excellence of minority women across the country through professional, personal and social ventures.