Ryan Destiny is best known for her leading role as Alexandra Crane on Fox’s hit drama, STAR. But the actress recently admitted that it took her some time to feel comfortable in her beautiful dark skin.
In an exclusive interview with The Grio, Destiny said that although she grew up in a family that consisted of various people with various hues, she didn’t start to feel self-conscious about her skin color until high school.
“I didn’t really see what it was and I think it’s because I grew up in a household where my mother was lighter, my father was darker, my grandmother was white, my other grandmother is Black. Color was all I saw but I didn’t really process that we were all different,” the actor explained.
“I don’t think my mom being lighter really registered for me until later. It really hit when I entered high school. I went through crushes and there were people who were embarrassed of me or didn’t like me or didn’t want to admit that they did because of my color.”
Although communities of color have made great strides, systematic racism still affects us all and colorism continues to rear its ugly head, especially in popular culture.
Destiny said she went through a period where she questioned her value, and she’s heard from other women that colorism affected them as well. While we mostly view colorism through the prism of darker-skinned women being made to feel less valuable or worthy, Destiny said light skin sisters get hit too.
“I have heard lot of stories from lighter Black women who feel that way because darker women would make them feel bad about themselves,” she said. “They’re young so they don’t know and they are doing it out of jealousy and feeling like they’re not enough so they have to bring someone else down.”
Thankfully, the young actor has been able to overcome the antiquated messages about darker-skinned women and accept and love the skin she’s in.
“It was really a whole mental shift that happened when I stopped thinking like that and I’m so thankful for it because it was a lot,” she said.
Watch Ryan Destiny’s entire interview over on the Grio’s website.