Bullying is common issue several of us face in our younger years, but only some of us take those negative experiences and turn them into something empowering. One of those few people is 10-year-old Kheris Rogers, who was constantly bullied by white students in elementary school for her darker skin.
Kheris’ self-esteem was so affected that her mother transferred her to a different school, where, this time, it was the black students’ turn to taunt her.
“i’ve been bullied a lot, like in the first grade, I went to school with just four other black kids,” Kheris, who’s from Los Angeles, recently said in an interview. “And kids used to bully me because they weren’t used to my skin tone. There was an incident with a teacher and we had to draw ourselves and she gave us a black crayon instead of a brown crayon, and I was really upset.”
Together with her older sister, 22-year-old Taylor Pollard, the 10-year-old channeled all that negativity towards a motivational fashion line.
In March this year, Pollard showed the world her little sister’s beauty with a tweet that went viral.
“My sister is only 10, but already royalty,” Pollard shared on Twitter, with two photos of her sister after a fashion show. She also used the hashtag #FlexinInHerComplexion, derived from the #FlexinInMyComplexion hashtag which went viral in 2015.
— Boss Babe✨ (@TaylorAndrea_) March 26, 2017
Not only has Kheris become the Internet’s favourite sweetheart, promoting her ‘Flexin’ In My Complexion’ clothing line to empower others who face colourism all the while, her t-shirts have already begun making sales, at $15 a piece.
Kheris told a news outlet that she feels confident when she puts the shirt on, “even if I still get picked on.”
“Kheris really thought she was the only one going through this, but Kheris now realizes that this is a global issue,” Pollard said in an interview. “That’s what pushed Kheris, because she thought ‘If I’m feeling this way, then we want to help others who are feeling bad about themselves too.'”