In this episode, we discuss finding security within yourself, the impacts of colorism, and the positive outlooks that can come from seeing role models that look like yourself. Chika Okoro became inspired in an unlikely place – a Straight Outta Compton casting call with standards of beauty, skin color and size that labeled her a “D Girl”. Chika’s personal experience with colorism pushed her to make a change and inform others on not only the issues that she faced, but also her hope for the future.
Someone Like Me We are beginning to see more role models today in TV and Film that can inspire our youth. Lupita Nyong’o in Black Panther was the love interest and Viola Davis revealed her natural hair in How to Get Away with Murder! It’s okay to put on your wig and go to work, but it’s also okay to be take it off and be comfortable with your natural self. Surrounding children with positive black role models can make a huge difference in our society. We need to be intentional and take an active role in how our children see themselves and those around them. Finding Comfort in YOU Chika was at Harvard trying to fit in as a black woman who was not wealthy, and just felt that everything was stacked against her. The more you become comfortable with yourself, the more people will be comfortable with you – people will like you for who you are. You are perfect right now! While it’s okay to grow and learn, believe that you are wonderful. It takes time to be secure in yourself and really know yourself – put in the work to get there.
The Journey Chika knew that her journey, including the struggles, would make her feel accomplished. However, when you draw all of your validation from an achievement, you can take failure really hard. Remember that failures are just a learning moment – succeed or fail, you’re an amazing person who is trying, and it’s still worth it. The journey is just as important as the outcome, as there is where you will become who you are meant to be. Continue to invest in yourself and don’t give up!