I am a proud dark skinned woman but it took me a while to become as self confident as I am. As a child I never had any issues with my skin complexion. In my neighborhood I played with mostly white children and at school by best friends were always white girls until I got to high school. I was always aware of my skin complexion but no one really said anything derogatory about my skin complexion. It wasn't until high school when I was I felt passed over for my light skinned friend that I started to feel insecure. I never had any trouble attracting the opposite sex on my own but it seemed to me that when she was around the guys always picked her. It got even worse in college in New Orleans. They have a serious color complex which almost completely ruined my self esteem. They refer to women when trying to "holler" only by their skin complexion. If you were " light" you were "red" and if you were dark skinned you were "black". I found this repulsive. I thank God that when I came home for holidays I never had to deal with any colorism. My father always said my sister and I were beautiful and friends and family members agreed. I was raised in a nuclear family base so their opinion always mattered to me.They also took me to Jamaica for a graduation. When I graduated from Xavier in New Orleans I was still struggling with my self esteem. When I arrived in Jamaica the locals embraced my beauty and my self esteem was restored. This single experience almost got me back to how I felt in my younger days! My career has not really been impacted my complexion yet and I feel blessed in that regard. I even volunteered with Big brothers and Big Sisters and was pleased when I got a dark skinned little sister so I could teach her to have healthy self esteem about her complexion stand up for herself when she heard things like " you are pretty for a darkskinned girl". Stopping internalized oppression needs to start with us the black community!