1001 Black Men–#276

Sometimes, when I see an man or woman with an especially striking face, one whose uniqueness is considered compelling or beautiful in the adult world, I try to imagine what he or she may have looked like as a child or a teen. Virtually all babies and toddlers are cute, but as kids grow into their pre-teen and teen years, those with very unique or unusual features–very prominent cheekbones, an unusual eye shape or color, a strong jaw, a large forehead or, for people of color, exceptionally dark or an exceptionally light skin–are ridiculed and marginalized by their more ordinary looking peers. For those who find themselves the brunt of such taunting, it is probably difficult to know that one day these same features will very likely attract the attention of another set of peers–college classmates, co-workers, modeling scouts, potential romantic partners–but for a very different reason, because in the world of adults, their unique features will be seen as beautiful, valuable, and rare.

Ajuan Mance

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