Kids these days are more confident than ever before.
Just look at Kheris Rogers, a 10-year-old from Los Angeles who took matters into her own hands after being bullied at school for her skin color. “I first began getting bullied in the first grade. There were only four other black children in my classroom. The other kids didn’t want to play with me or be my friend because they weren’t used to seeing someone with dark skin,” she told InStyle.
“There was even a situation with my first grade teacher when we were supposed to draw ourselves and the teacher gave me a black crayon instead of a brown crayon to color myself. That left me confused about how people saw me,” she continued. Understandably, little Kheris turned to her family for help, and switched schools to move to a more positive, inclusive environment.
Unfortunately, the switch didn’t help. “Now I was getting teased by other kids of color,” who bullied her over her darker complexion, she said. It was from that moment that she decided enough is enough.
“I got the courage to love my skin after seeing other chocolate girls such as [Lupita Nyong'o] have so much confidence,” she explained. Luckily, her family was fully supportive. In fact, her sister, Taylor Pollard, tweeted an image of Kheris that not only went viral, but also brought her plenty of love and attention online.`
“My sister is only 10, but already royalty #FlexinInHerComplexion,” Taylor wrote.
— Boss Babe (@TaylorAndrea_) March 26, 2017
“There were so many people telling me how beautiful my skin is and how much they love my hair. This really boosted my confidence because for once I felt like people were seeing me as I saw myself in the mirror,” she told us, explaining that others reached out to share similar instances of bullying. “This inspired me to start a clothing line because I wanted to inspire others to find their confidence and be comfortable in their skin.”
Now, Kheris has launched her own site with multi-colored shirts ($15; flexininmycomplexion.com) each colored with the hashtag her sister tweeted: “Flexin in my complexion.” “I have always had a passion for fashion and modeling. I definitely plan to come out with more of my designs very soon for the summer,” she said, adding, “My goal is to inspire others to love their skin as well.”
Talk about empowering.
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So how does Kheris handle bullying now? “The message I would like to send to others is that when people say bad things about you, that means that they are insecure in themselves,” she said. "Remember the next time someone says something mean about you, it has nothing to do with you, but everything to do with them.”