C O L O R — we’re consumed by it, we choose things and even people we like because of it. Some of us love color, and some of us hate it.
My color has always defined me for as long as I can remember. I am a very dark, black woman. If you’re aware of what’s been happening to my people and women (since the beginning of time) who look like me, you may know exactly what this means. I’M A VERY DARK, BLACK WOMAN — enough said. Being me comes with a lot of judgement and I’ve had my fair share of ridicule. Sometimes it’s passive and other times it’s as blatant as the guy selling incense outside of Trader Joe’s calling me “a gross dark, black monkey” because I wouldn’t give him my phone number (that one felt oh so good!).
He fell for this girl who, for the longest time, thought she didn’t deserve love because of the dark color of her skin.
As a kid and a teenager, my peers never let one day go by without letting me know how dark I was. I was taunted and harassed and reminded that I was not the ideal standard of beauty. Do you know what that does to a person? Cue years of self-doubt, years of undoing the very horrible thoughts you created in your head because you actually started to believe the things that were being spewed at you for years on end. Fast forward to my mid-twenties and cue the love of my life…
In walks Nick, or maybe I should say in saunters Nick, ever so casually. I entered his life much differently — in fact, I ran in. I was eager to chase this hip-hop loving, accent baring, “cool as a cucumber” Kiwi. I had never met anyone from New Zealand at that point and he was so different from anyone I had ever dated — I had to know more! A summer of attending free hip-hop concerts together across Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens turned into a summer of love. He fell for this girl who, for the longest time, thought she didn’t deserve love because of the dark color of her skin.
Fast forward five years later, and I’m getting married to the dopest and most amazing guy. Our engagement pictures are an ode to the spray-painted words we found on a wall during our shoot: LOVE HAS NO COLOR. When Nick looks at me, he sees magic, he sees WHO I AM: how I treat my family, my work ethic, how I sympathize with complete strangers, my intense loyalty and love for my closest friends, and my drive to be better in all ways possible. He never fails to remind me that it’s not WHAT you are but WHO you are that truly matters most.
Our amazing engagement shoot was shot by our good friend Shaun (find him here and here!) who ventured all around our home base of Brooklyn to capture who we are. We conquered the graffiti murals of Bushwick, posed in front of Jane’s Carousel in DUMBO, and held each other in front of the iconic Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges. We then made our way to Fort Greene to capture the beauty of the park at sunset, to look into each other’s eyes on the steps of a brownstone, to walk hand-in-hand down our familiar streets and serve our best “Jay & Bey” on our unfinished rooftop.
Some of our final photos are in color, but my favorite are the ones without, which is so very fitting for this post. I love all of our snaps from that day but the black and white photos are my love letter to Nick. He is one of the few people in this world who truly holds my heart, my integrity, and my actions to the utmost standard instead of the color of my skin.
Here’s to love having no color and wishing that everyone in the world loved others this way!