I knew I was having a boy. I remember looking at my gender reveal ultrasound and seeing the image of this wriggling fuzzy image. Nestled right below in the genital area it appeared to be a hamburger. In my mind, this equated to a very small penis and ball sack. I illegally recorded the ultrasound video from my phone and prepared to share the news to all of our close friends and family when my doctor looked at me and laughed.
“That’s a girl” she said. Apparently, my hamburger was actually three white lines which made up the female anatomy on my little mango sized baby.
I was having a girl.
At that moment everything changed. I’ve always heard how men prepare for their sons. The ways they strive to teach them to become men. For women, it is different. I knew that raising a little brown girl, I had to teach her that she was beautiful. To love Jehovah God, to love herself, and to instill confidence in her from an early age. To let her know that no matter what the world saw in her as a Black child, she was still an amazing person. I had to let her know that she was never less than.
And things have happened. Her Blackness has been discounted. Her hair has been mocked. I won’t lie and say it doesn’t worry me but I make sure she is surrounded with images that look like her, that reflect her beauty. I make sure that she reads books where little Brown girls are the heroes and her dolls have hair just like hers. That her movies and favorite shows depict little Brown girls as doctors and teachers.
This is important.
It is important because as a child, I remember watching television and because my mother instilled confidence in me, I never wanted to be something that I wasn’t. I never wanted to be White or have lighter skin. I simply wondered why there weren’t more little Brown girls that looked like me being represented.
So, I am teaching my daughter to love herself. I am teaching her to stand strong, hold her head up high and understand that her inner parts are more beautiful than the outer. I want her to know self love and self care begin within. If she knows that, no one can take it away.