Shay Monet


Who exactly is DarkkskinShay?

Weeelllll, most know me as Shay Monet "the tall dark skin model," from St. Louis Mo. Real simple, BUT I wanted my name to let you know exactly where I stood before you address me. To let YOU know,  that I know and acknowledge that, and you don't have to let me know I'm the exception to the rule. So I changed my name DarkkskinShay. I mean, that's often what's said in the dark anyway. So boom, there's that.

I'm a sister, friend, college grad! (yay) , model, actress, your "Social media cousin" [ and even social media auntie :) ], an influencer of some sorts - the list goes on FOREVER. ! So why is it with so many common titles, I have to go searching for visuals of what looks like me? I mean, as black people with so many variations in complexion it should be common, right? I mean, we're not anomalies. 

I didn't see too many chocolate people celebrated like I see them now as a child. I was definitely teased by my peers about it, but the adults around me always celebrated the beauty in me so it wasn't so bad. However, I didn't see how different I was because believe it or not, in that bathroom light, I don't even look as dark as my childhood pictures, so I never caught it. (laughs) My peers teased me calling me things like "Tar baby," African booty Scratcher," "Train Smoke" - if you can think of it, I was called it. Funny as an adult I'm now an "African Queen, "Nubian Goddess," and ''Exotic." 

I didn't understand why people would bother me and I all did was be. I had a preference of dark skin boys as well, but didn't ever want to date one - at least openly. I didn't want people making fun of me and how dark me and future bae could be together. So I stuck with what I thought "looked"better. {Keep in mind I never considered my parents and both are dark chocolate.}

I literally had a guy tell me "You'd be so fire if you were light skin." (To those not located in the midwest, "fire"was a high level compliment.} That statement stuck with me up until college. Had me wondering "what if"?"(FYI, I'd be hideous lol) Now THIS is when I feel that having representation would have made a positive impact. Having a reflection of someone confidently chocolate as I would have helped reassure me in some manner, but because most of what was deemed beautiful all around me looked nothing like me, so I fed into it.

 

All things combined, I knew I had to be the change I wanted to see. I had to be part of creations that reflected the beauty I wanted to see, and that someone somewhere needed. Initially, I wanted to inspire just little girls, but I realized they weren't the only ones who needed it. Adult women are also in need, passing on those traumas to their little girls and we have to change that narrative!

We are bosses, divas, cultivators, creators and trailblazers by design and I hope that anything I touch reminds someone that. It looks like YOU!

 


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