Inspiration

Teen’s Post Urging Black Children To Love Their Features Goes Viral

A teenage girl has gone viral on Instagram with a poignant post urging black children to love their facial features.

Jacinda Pender, a 19-year-old based in Cartersville, Georgia, shared a collage of photos of her naturally full lips on Instagram last week, writing above it: ‘When you realize having big lips is a trend but it took you a while to love your natural ones.’

The post, which she said was inspired by her struggle to embrace certain parts of her own appearance, has since received more than 120,000 likes.

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‘This post was about me, a black girl, loving her natural features and being constantly reminded by my white peers as a child that they weren’t beautiful,’ Jacinda wrote in the caption.

She then recounted the sickening racist remarks that were left under a photo posted by MAC Cosmetics last year, which depicted a black model’s lips.

‘This is about black girls who are constantly reminded that they aren’t beautiful, whether it be their natural kinky 4c hair or dark skin or big features. It’s my job as a black person to remind black children growing up that they are beautiful and valid and worthy.’

Her message resonated with other Instagram users, some of whom said they were also cruelly bullied for their facial features growing up.

‘Funny thing is I also had the same type of bullying when I was in middle school and high school,’ one woman wrote. ‘I’ve heard it all about my lips; people where cruel now… it’s a trend. I was also made fun of for being thick, now it’s considered sexy.’

Jacinda, a self-love and body positivity advocate, shared a similar picture in May, this time writing: ‘Believe it or not… but it took me a while to love my beautiful natural lips.’ This previous post has received more than 60,000 likes.

The teenager didn’t expect her latest post to attract as much attention as it did.

‘When I woke up and realized my post had gone viral, I was really shocked,’ she told¬†Mic.

Jacinda also received some abuse for sharing her message, with people flooding her with racial slurs and insults and claiming her own insecurities were ‘fake’.¬†However, the teenager has no intention to stop sharing her vision.

‘I hope they understand that self-love in general is a journey that takes patience,’ she said. ‘Because you start discovering yourself and uncovering these layers of hatred you had for yourself for so long time, and realize the thing you’ve been hating for awhile is the thing that turns out to be your missing puzzle piece to your self-worth.’

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