It’s not lost on me that people find my skin tone and hair texture “pretty”. I get compliments on them all the time. I think we are well aware of the notion (particularly within the black community) that lighter skin and soft curly hair is an immediate ticket to an easier life and an automatic assumption of beauty and eliteness. Being that I fall (somewhat) in this category and I am on the receiving end of plenty of compliments surrounding my hair and skin tone, I know how prevalent these opinions are. I was just a little girl when I realized such a ridiculous hierarchy even existed. I am a middle child with two sisters who both have darker skin tones and tighter curl patterns than I do. Although my dad freely expressed his adoration for the darkest skin tones and the kinkiest hair types, I quickly realized that most people in the world around me did not share his views on this.