11/18/2015 11:27 EST | Updated 11/25/2015 03:59 EST

#IWillNotApologizeForBeingDarkSkin Is Empowering Black Men And Women Everywhere


People are taking shadeism to task on Twitter with #IWillNotApologizeForBeingDarkSkin.

The hashtag, which started earlier this month by 23-year-old aspiring marketing director, Alicia Daniella, encourages men and women to share images of their dark skin, along with their struggles with discrimination.

Daniella tells BuzzFeed she was physically bullied because of her darker skin tone, and was taunted with names like "gorilla."

On Twitter, she explains she started the hashtag because she's "experienced so much hate" towards her skin colour.

"Why so much hate when my skin is God given? Why would you allow others to brainwash you into thinking that Dark skin is ugly when Dark skin is glorious," she writes in her post.

"The truth is. Dark skin men and women are beautiful. We owe no one an explanation as to why we are the way God made us and we definitely aren't going to apologize because our Dark Skin makes you feel a type of way," she continues.

Now, Daniella loves her dark skin, and is sharing some gorgeous selfies to prove it.

She tells BuzzFeed, “I really just want to let everyone know that being dark skinned is not a disease, and I will not apologize for those who feel uncomfortable.”

The self-affirming tag has created a space to challenge shadeism, or colourism that exists in a world that tends to value lighter complexions.

There are now more than 20,000 tweets, almost all of them with photos of pure dark-skinned magic. The tag has reached more that 1.7 million people in countries across the world, who can bask in the confidence, the melanin and the unquestionable beauty spilling from these posts.

The movement follows #FlexinMyComplexion, where men and women of colour took to social media to air their frustration to bring diversity to mainstream media.

Check out more gorgeous #IWillNotApologizeForBeingDarkSkin selfies below:

Follow Huffington Post Canada Style on Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter!


Foundations For Dark Skin Tones