Strawberry Smiles

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Women are told to avoid the sun at all costs. Every ethnicity and every skin color is told that the sun is their enemy. Because, you know, you don't want to be too dark, too burnt, too freckly, too wrinkly, too oily... 

The sun will give you cancer, the sun will make you age badly, the sun will make your skin oily and imperfect, the sun will make you ugly...

Avoid it at all costs.

It is your enemy.

Yet here we are drawing freckles on our faces.
Just enough, not too much. Just a touch, to add character. How quirky.
An old insult turned into a modern trend, shit. Not this again. 
Little girls are told to powder their faces to cover their polka-dotted skin,
and you're putting a pencil to your face just because Kendall Jenner did it once.

Yet here we are turning orange, turning brown, just the right amount.
A little bit foundation and a whole lotta bronzer goes a long way
when you want to look exotic for a just moment.
Women everywhere are shamed for the skin the sun has blessed them with,
and you're forcing yourself to look 3 shades darker for aesthetic.

Ew, you look paler than a ghost, you should get a spray-tan.
And you? You're too dark, maybe you should bleach your skin again.

We fetishize these colors,
longing for the perfect in-between. 

So I think back to our childhoods, when we were all so carefree.
Our feet in the grass and our strawberry smiles...
all we wanted to do is chase the sun. Chase something.
Our noses were wrinkled but that never stopped us.
Our faces were dotted and our skin melanin-rich.
The shade or the state of our skin did not determine our worth,
it just meant we had a whimsical adventure outdoors.

And we wanted to do it all over again.
The sun kissed us,
and we kissed it back.

You are a daughter of the sky,
friend of the stars,
lover of the sun and the moon.

The sun is not your enemy,
it gives you light, it gives you life. 

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