American student Kheris Rogers was one of four black students at her school in Los Angeles. As a result, she was bullied for her dark complexion.
Even in the first grade, Kheris would take longer baths hoping she could wash away some of her darkness. Kheris also remembered a time when a teacher handed her a black crayon while students were asked to create self-portraits.
The other black children were handed brown crayons. After moving schools, and embracing the words of her grandmother, ‘flexin’ in my complexion’ – Kheris created a t-shirt with the wise words.
Then her sister Taylor tweeted an image of Kheris wearing the tee which quickly went viral and even actress Lupita Nyong’o was seen wearing the shirt.
Kheris told Metro UK how the idea for the shirts came to be.
‘I wanted to figure out a way of how I could combine my love for inspiring others and my passion for fashion,’ she said.
‘When I first went viral, so many people around the world from different cultures were reaching out to me about how they could relate to my story. It then clicked in my head that a clothing line would be a way to connect with these people.
Looking down and seeing “Flexin’ In My Complexion” on your T-shirt would be a reminder of being confident in who you are.
‘My sister and I created the clothing line together.
When we first came up with the idea, we went to my mum who let us borrow $150 (£116) to create our first batch of T-Shirts and our website.
‘It was an unreal feeling seeing Lupita wear a “Flexin’ In My Complexion” tee. I was so excited that she was willing to support my campaign.’
The talented youngster explained that her future plans include expanding her clothing line, with her ultimate goal being to have her own clothing store.
Given the success of her work thus far, that might not be a pipe dream.
The likes of Chelsea Clinton, Terry Crews, Tyra Banks have commended Kheris on her work, with actress Whoopi Goldberg even sporting a tee.
She has acquired a large gathering on social media too, a lot of whom have praised her for celebrating dark skin. We expect that Kheris’s career is just beginning to take off.