- Being forced to weather the storm that is your name mispronunciation: Do you remember when the substitute teacher absolutely butchered your name? Or providing phonetic name cards for graduation ceremonies? The struggle was real. But as Uzo Aduba’s mother eloquently said, “If they can learn to say Tchaikovsky and Dostoyevsky and Michelangelo, then they can learn to say *insert beautiful ethnic name here*!”
- Being perpetually ashy: So I was definitely one of those kids who was slow to figure out why the Gross Sisters were blue. They perfectly mirrored my elbows and knees after a long hard day of playing outdoors. It’s like my childhood activities sucked the moisture out of my life, regardless of how much lotion I lathered on my skin.
- When your braid falls out: It happened just as my 10-year-old niece was about to attempt her first overhand serve at her volleyball game. Her braid fell out of her kitchen like a leaf off a tree. She was mortified, but after the game I told her about the time my ponytail fell off in front of my beige crush at the Sandy Lake. Hey, it happens to the very best of us. #TumbleWeave. But press on. Just remind yourself that it could even happen to Beyoncé.
4. Perm burns: While we’re on the subject of hair… It was all fun and games when you could flip your hair after that perm. But when you messed around and scratched the one spot on your scalp that was too relaxed? Game over.
5. “You’re pretty for a black girl.” *Heavy sigh* I just…can’t.