As a black girl growing up in Europe, I never knew how important representation was until I had to justify my blackness, deal with my blackness and be proud of my blackness.

Inspiring Image on We Heart It

I never cared as a Kid. Sure, I had my worries about my weird hair that was doing its own thing and I got bullied for it, but I thought I solved that problem by chemically straightening it and hiding its true texture.
I did not care about my blackness and what society thought of it because I had friends who thought I was pretty cool and I myself thought I was pretty cool.
Everything changed when I was bullied by some boys who called me the N word and "dark as the night" almost every single day. As if their comments were valid I tried to justify my blackness. I tried to think of all these famous black people, I could only think of Jay-Z at that time (I don't know why he was the only cool black person I could think of).

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I thought of Beyonce and Rihanna too but they told me I'm darker and uglier than them and their hair is straight (little did they know these were weaves).
I was bullied so severely that I started to imagine how it would be if I was white.
I wouldn't be bullied. People would not ask me stupid racist questions and people would see me as a Person rather than a black Person.
I graduated from School leaving my bullies behind (who did not graduate because they were stupid in pretty much every aspect) and forgot about that.
Till this day I am really proud of the fact that I never hated myself for being black, I hated myself for other reasons, but never for being black. And there were a few people I knew who hated themselves because they were black.

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In High School, I read this Book. The Sun is also a star by Nicola Yoon (soon to be a movie btw). For the first time in my entire life, I read about a book character who was a black girl, that could not sing, nor dance and wasn't good sports. She was: intelligent, logical, smart (and insert more synonyms for the word intelligent), realistic with a slight hint of pessimistic and she was black.

I read books about Lisa Smiths (or insert other white American names here) whose skin color and cultural heritage weren't described which meant they were white because white is the "norm".
If not stated otherwise, its white.
I never knew how much I needed someone to be like me. 100%ly like me. And I could only imagine that no white person could relate or understand what it felt like to be represented (without any stereotypes) for the first time.
It's almost sad that after having lived for 17 years, that I was represented for the first time.
And now it is 2018 people are still not being properly represented.

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All I see in mainstream media is the loud black girl, the athletic/aggressive black boy, the smart Asian boy, the submissive Asian girl. I don't see middle eastern people (apart from those who play terrorists), native American people, Indian people and much more people of color being represented at all.
Of course, there might be exceptions but I want people to see people of color like people. People that can be smart, aggressive, sad, loud, intelligent without it having to do something with the color of their skin.

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