Saturday, August 20, 2016

Review: Brown Girl, Brown Girl, What Do You See?

Kisha Mitchell. Illustrator: Marie Pearson. Girls Inspired Inc., 2016. 24 pp.
Rating: Worthy + 5 Scoops

Brown Girl, Brown Girl , What Do You See? is an ode to self-love. It's a testament that brown girls are indeed beautiful. It's about loving the skin that you are in, but it's even more than that. It's about accepting yourself as you are. More importantly, it's about getting acquainted with and loving the person within.

"As I gaze in the mirror loving the perfect imperfections of me; I see a confidence emerging that will not cease!"

The illustrations are gorgeous. They depict a rainbow of brown tones exemplifying the beauty in the varied complexions and hair textures of brown girls. My favorite image is of the protagonist after she has taken a second look into the mirror. Taking in the wonder of who she is and all that she is, her eyes are aglow in a state of astonishment. As much as I loved the illustrations, I thought a few of them reinforced stereotypes, but the majority of them are affirming. Also, I found some of the wording awkward.

In a culture that pressures people of color to submit to the European ideal of beauty, Brown Girl, Brown Girl is an affirming narrative much needed to erase centuries of psychological damage induced by this social attitude.

"The whole essence of WHO I AM is nothing short of a masterpiece!"

Brown Girl, Brown Girl, What Do You See? sets young girls on a course for a lifetime of self-awareness and self-reflection. It is a valuable resource and though it's speaking directly to brown girls, the affirming message is universal and I recommend it to all.


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