I Am Not A Spray Tan

I am not a spray tan!

So think about that when you lean over and say, “soon I’ll be as dark as you!”

Because that artificial flavouring fades, but my skin is forever.

Your skin is salt, mine is pepper.

I’m not trying to compare which skin is better but understand, we are NOT the same.

All that plastic can change you. Take whatever you want, and people praise you, but it’s different, with me, because this melanin comes naturally, it’s what people will always see, and I love it. I’m proud of the way I am.

But listen, you take what you want, just a smidgen, you darken your skin just a tad, to avoid looking “too dark”, to avoid looking “bad”, and it’s sad.

I see you’re going for the light skin look. I see you’re going for a specific, kind of beauty, I see your lips are injected, so they look more rounded, yes, I see you.

But listen. People still don’t see me. And that’s the problem. People still don’t see we still exist, and we can be socialist, novelist, adventurers, and poets. Certain ideas are snatched fast, before we even know it. Like black is stuck in the past, but the content is still evolving, onto another kind of person that isn’t wise enough to see what we’ve accomplished. It’s common knowledge to acknowledge the message you put out into society. If you’re lighter and whiter, people start buying it. If you’re darker in colour then it’s not worth trying it. Just stop denying it. Quit trying to be, “quirky and hip” because fads are trends. Trends simmer out just to come back again. The cycle repeats and it’s just “a look” to you. But how can it be, when it’s how I look, through and through? It doesn’t add up. It doesn’t make sense. I don’t mean to rant, but don’t play innocent. Take note of what you’re doing, take note of why you do it. If you want to be black so bad, just prove it?

Hmm, nothing to say? Hear me out before you walk away.

It’s not a contest. It’s a race. It’s not a competition, it’s what we face. Understand that we have been disgraced, but we rise, in every battle that presents itself. For better or worse, we take the high road, we’ve heard NOs, and the lord knows, that those “nos” hurt the most. But we band together. If you knew better you’d get that our skin isn’t like the weather, or like your mind, it doesn’t change constantly. Take that into consideration and don’t bother me with that, “I’m almost as dark as you” comment. Got it? Now memorize this moment, save it, just put it in your pocket. The next time you even consider saying anything that is a racial microaggression, take a second and think about this lesson.

Alicia Plummer is an actor/creator from Scarborough, Ontario. This year so far, she has had the pleasure of being in the following productions: A Period Piece by Missus Productions, a reading of The Laramie Project for Muskoka Pride, Can Lit Can Suck It by Other(ed) Productions, and 20/20: Vision by Can’t Stand Sitting Productions. She has also been an actor for Mixed Company Theatre’s forum theatre, for university students about consent.

As much as she loves acting, she has a very strong passion for writing. Her writing varies from song writing, poetry, and playwriting. Her goal as a playwright is to make people laugh, and she is currently directing her show Fandom with three amazing actors at the Northumberland Summer Shorts Festival, which virtually premieres near the end of August! When it comes to her poetry and her lyrics in her music, the themes and the flow are rooted in honest, uncensored thought that she hopes people can connect with.

She is a proud black woman, who is all about representation in the arts, and she’s ecstatic Trick Magazine is interested in her poetry. She hopes to inspire other black folks to be brave, and speak their truth.