When 10-year-old Kheris Rogers was bullied about her skin, a fashion show and a viral tweet helped instill confidence.
“I know I’m pretty,” Kheris says to CBS Los Angeles Friday, April 14. “I’m not gonna let anyone tell me different.”
A few months ago, Kheris faced bullies at her elementary school who made her feel as if she wasn’t “that pretty.”
During a self-portrait assignment in first grade, Kheris said a teacher handed her a Black crayon to draw herself instead of a brown one. Her 22-year-old sister, Taylor Pollard, told BuzzFeed News there were only four Black girls in her class.
“I’m not that dark,” Kheris told BuzzFeed. “I’m brown.”
Kheris came home crying after that and her mother, Erika Pollard, moved her to a more diverse school district by the second grade, but criticism from classmates still remained.
“A couple girls were bullying me ’cause I was too dark,” Kheris told CBS Los Angeles. “But, they were coming from Black girls, too, so I was really confused.”
“Colorism is an issue in every race,” Taylor Pollard said in a message on Twitter. “I think that white supremacy has brainwashed people across the globe into believing that having dark skin is a negative thing when, in reality, it makes you more valuable.”
Erika Pollard placed Kheris in a program at Amazing Grace Conservatory, a local performing arts training space. Kheris confidently strutted her stuff in a March fashion show, which her sister captured and posted on Twitter after sharing images of Kheris mid-pose.
Comments poured in for the fifth-grade student and Taylor Pollard’s #FlexinInHerComplexion tweet now has 31,000 retweets and 83,000 likes.
@TaylorAndrea_ Way Too Valuable & Adorable. I pray she goes on to obtain a great education and rule the world the right way
— Debt Midler (@RRDeux) March 27, 2017
@TaylorAndrea_ your sister is onto world domination!
— victoria sanusi ?? (@victoriasanusi) March 27, 2017
@TaylorAndrea_ She’s gonna be the next Naomi Campbell, just wait ❤ much love from LA ?
— Yoli (@yoliimely) April 18, 2017
“After I read all those comments, I was like, ‘Wow, am I really that pretty?'” Kheris says.
Kheris also has her own Twitter account, called @KherisPoppin, run and monitored by Khers’ big sister and their mother, where more photos of the child flaunting her beauty are shared.
“Everybody is pretty in their own way,” Kheris says to CBS. “Always believe in yourself. Don’t let nobody tell you different.”
“It really is an amazing feeling as a big sister to know that I [and social media] have helped instill confidence in Kheris,” Taylor Pollard said. “I think that it is important for families with Black children to tell their children often that their Black is beautiful, no matter what shade of Black they are.”