After Kheris Rogers had to transfer schools due to excessive bullying by classmates for her darker skin, her older sister Taylor Pollard stepped in to help boost her confidence.
“She started to notice she was different,” Pollard said in an interview with Buzzfeed. “She would cry a lot, and talk about how she doesn’t like her skin tone.”
Pollard recalls how students in Rogers’ class in Los Angeles were primarily white, and would excessively bully her because they weren’t used to her skin complexion.
“There was an incident with a teacher,” she said we had to draw ourselves and she gave us a black crayon instead of a brown crayon, and I was really upset.”
Micro-aggressions such as that are what led Pollard to post pictures of her little sister on Twitter with the hashtag #FlexinInHerComplexion. The post soon went viral, getting retweeted over 30,000 times.
She is beautiful and so are you!! Great job sis. Keep uplifting your lil sis. She's killin the game.
— dennine williams (@dewiller) May 24, 2017
“She is beautiful and so are you!! Great job sis. Keep uplifting your lil sis. She’s killin the game,” one user said.
Pollard’s plan worked because as her sister read the affirming responses it had a sincere impact on how she sees herself.
“After I read all those comments I was like – wow – am I really that pretty?” Kharis told CBS Los Angeles.
Colorism Issues Worldwide
The girls leveraged their viral post and began a tshirt line to help other people struggling with issues of colorism learn to accept themselves just as they are. The money from their sales will be going towards Rogers’ education. And she has also become an Instagram influencer showing off daily looks on a page managed by her mother and sister.
“Kheris really thought she was the only one going through this, but Kheris now realizes that this is a global issue,” Pollard told Mic. “She thought ‘If I’m feeling this way, then we want to help others who are feeling bad about themselves too.'”
“I just hope that especially for younger kids, people start to feel more confident in their skin,” she added.