• Ashlee Oliver

Pretty Hurts (My Truth) Series: The Embrace

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Hi! So previously I shared something that was very deep that I have been dealing with since I was a child. To continue the series, I wanted to share how I was able to Embrace my beauty.

After, moving back home to Mississippi and starting a new school at the age of 12, which was technically an old school, I had just left it at 7 years old, so I didn't remember anyone. I must admit that it was very difficult to fit in with my classmates. I tried so hard to change myself in order to fit in and adapt with my surroundings prior to moving back to Mississippi, that I could not relate to my new surroundings, which were with majority of African Americans. I thought that being back home would help me with my body issues, but it didn't help. Moving back actually made it worse because I was picked on by most of the girls. It was either my eyes, my northern accent that I had acquired, my teeth, it was just about anything that they could find. I choose to keep my friends to a minimum and focus on leaving a place where I thought I would find myself, but what I found is that many people are not able to embrace the unknown.

It wasn't until I went to college that I saw my beauty and was embraced. I attended Rust College, a Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). From the moment I stepped on campus, I was able to see and understand the beauty of me as a woman of color and the beauty of my people. This was the first time that I started to learn how to Embrace myself and my Culture. I finally understood that for me to love myself entirely, I had to love my culture first. I saw that my body issues stemmed from me not embracing my heritage. Once I fell in love with my blackness, I fell in love with myself.

I searched the majority of my life to find people to embrace me without realizing that when you Embrace your Roots, you'll then Embrace yourself!


Ashlee O.

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