As much as they may try to deny it, teens can be pretty impressionable. Jacinda Pender, a 19-year-old YouTuber, can attest to that. She was conditioned to believe that Black beauty wasn't appreciated in a world of blonde hair and light eye worship.
"Growing up, I hated my lips because I was constantly reminded that lips like mine weren't beautiful," she told Mic in a video interview. "But when it suddenly became a trend and people were going out and paying the biggest bucks to achieve something I always hated as a child, I was shocked. I was like, how come it's becoming popular to have big lips, but back then, it was not acceptable."
To address the issue, Jacinda didn't fire off an angry letter to Kylie Cosmetics. Instead, she did what millennials do best: she memed. "When you realize having big lips is a trend but it took you awhile to love your natural ones..." she captioned the post, alongside a grid of selfies focusing on her gorgeous, un-injected pout. "At this point in my life I'm like, 'no ones gonna love and appreciate each flaw and imperfection or feature that you posses. So you might as well start loving your damn self and stop giving a fuck,'" she wrote.
The photo received over 123,000 likes in just four days, and joins a few others on her page that consistently spark plenty of discussion in the comments. "Omg so true!" one Instagrammer wrote. "I have the same feeling about my eyes, all these girls painting a cat shaped eye with eyeliner when mine are naturally that way and still I am the one being called out names like chinky eyes." Another said that the same thing happened with their "thick ass eyebrows," and their "thick thighs"... and the list goes on. The post sparked dialogue among people with once-mocked features that are now considered "trendy."
Despite the trolls, Jacinda's mission won't be deterred. "Black children need to be surrounded and see representation on various types of black people when it comes to skin, hair type, appearance, etc. Not just one," she continued. Head over to Mic to read the rest of her inspiring interview.
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