“It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept and celebrate those difference.”
– Audre Lorde
Everyone has their own unique identity, beauty, attitude, and abilities, and all these make being different a much-needed trait in our world, as it helps create a balance between boring and interesting in the world. When it comes to being different, we have to be mindful of those we listen to.Difference scares people but no matter what criticisms are against us, we should learn to be ourselves, refuse to fit in when we can stand out because strength, innovation, and development lie in being different.
Becoming not just an internet sensation but also making history by being the youngest fashion designer to ever present at the New York Fashion Week (NYFW) is 11-year-old Kheris Roger from Los Angeles who chose to let the criticism of others about her skin colour propel her forward towards success. Kheris – the young fashion entrepreneur whose clothing line is called ‘Flexin’ in my Complexion’ – was being bullied for being too dark so much she had to transfer to another school. However, her sister, Taylor Polland, sought for ways to help boost her confidence and pride so she started taking model style pictures of Kheris promoting her unapologetic ‘Flexin’ in my Complexion’ designs and posted them on social media. These pictures soon went viral with thousands of likes, even 15 times Grammy Award winner Alicia Keys shared her picture on her Instagram page.
She has also presented her designs during Harlem Fashion Week and at Tom Joyner’s FamilyReunion.
Kheris has not only succeeded in living a life being proud of her skin colour but she has been inspired to also help boost the self-esteem of other dark skin girls through her apparel line.
She has been featured on other media platforms which include Vibe Magazine, Ebony Magazine, and BlackNews.com. She has even been featured on all the mainstream blogs like HuffingtonPost.com, Mashable.com, BuzzFeed.com, PopSugar.com, and Bossip.com. She was also interviewed on CBS News.
Despite her achievements, Kheris remains humble and looks up to other ‘chocolate’ girls who inspire her through their positive, uplifting words and their successes, the likes of Tyra Banks, Lupita Nyongo amongst others.
The story of this amazing young girl inspires us that criticism should be stepping stones, not stumbling blocks to our success. Like a wise man said, “don’t let people’s praises get in your head and don’t let their criticism get in your heart”, so it won’t break your will to want to be different.
Image from Affinity Magazine.