When I was a child, I used to love coloring. I wasn't exactly the artistic type, but I was able to put some colors together in a way that showed how colorful my imagination was. Now that I'm a mom, I have the absolute pleasure of sharing my love for creativity with our daughter in a way that helps her express herself.
We've never been shy about discussing the current climate with our children — especally our youngest one. We know she sees what is going on in the world simply by being in the room with us when we watch the news. However, we also know that she doesn't truly understand what is really going on. There's only so many kid-friendly ways you can explain racial and social injustices without scaring them. However, I had no idea coloring would be one of the easiest ways.
That's why I was so glad to partner with Crayola to let you know about their Colors of the World crayons! Discussing race and the features that make us unique with children can be difficult. However, the Colors of the World crayons definitely make it a little easier — especially when you can incorporate a creative component into the lesson.
When we got our Colors of the World crayons, the first thing our daughter said to me was -- "Mommy! I didn't know there were crayons that look like my skin!". That glimmer of excitement in her eyes almost brought me to tears. I remember being a child and only having one or two shades of crayons to choose from, neither of which matched my skin tone. Yet, here we are in 2020 and our little girl gets to reap the benefits of diversity just in doing what she loves — coloring.
In order to balance out all of the screen time she's been having with e-learning, we decided to work on a special art project. It doesn't look like she will get to take school photos this year. So, we figured we could make up for it by creating one of our own here at home. Neither of us are really good at drawing. Therefore, Crayola's Color Camera App definitely came in handy. This App allows you to upload any of your favorite pictures and turn them into a portrait your child can color.
Take a look at the picture we selected and what the Color Camera App created for our little artist to beautify!
(Photos by Brittany Chatman/Chat With Bee, LLC)
Once we had her #Trueselfie printed out, it was time to get to work. The Color Camera App has a "Find Your Shade" feature that helps your child select the Colors of the World crayon that is closest to their skin tone. Though colors shown on your device might appear differently when compared to your skin or on paper, it's still pretty accurate. Our daughter selected the Deep Almond shade initially, but ultimately chose the Medium Almond shade to bring her artwork to life.
Watching her create this masterpiece that was inspired by her likeness touched me in a way that is difficult to put in words — but I'll try. See, we live in a world that tells our little brown girls that they are less than worthy. Every, single day I tell her how beautiful she is. I tell her she is smart, amazing, tough, brilliant, my favorite girl, and so much more. Self-love begins at home. However, it can end at home too if we aren't careful.
It is our jobs parents, grandparents, uncles, and aunts to show our brown girls and boys what self-love truly looks like. I want our daughter to enter the real world knowing she can accomplish anything — and the color of her skin doesn't get to determine that. When I was a little girl, I didn't have the benefit of the Colors of the World crayons. I had to choose from what was there, and make it work. I'm so glad that our daughter will grow up in a world where diversity is no longer an afterthought. We have a long way to go, but that journey starts with simple steps like 24 different shades of crayons that represent the beautiful shades of skin found around the world.
I want to thank Crayola for helping us show our daughter the beauty of her skin on paper, and for positioning me to use my platform to spread this very important message.
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