A young girl who was bullied for her rich-melanin complexion was recently featured on Teen Vogue’s “21 Under 21 class of 2018” for the extraordinary success she’s achieved at such a young age.
Kheris Rogers, 11, went viral on social media earlier this year after her big sister shared a photo of her with the hashtag #FlexinInHerComplexion. Weeks later, the young girl started her own T-shirt collection “Flexin In My Complexion” to encourage other Black girls to embrace their skin.
“What made me want to start Flexin’ in My Complexion was me getting bullied for my skin color, my skin complexion,” the Los Angeles 11-year-old told Teen Vogue. “And I want other people to know that they’re not alone.”
The catchy phrase stemmed from her Rogers’ grandmother, who would often uplift her after she’d been teased by other students at school. Her classmates would say she’d been “in the oven too long” and called her things like “dead roach.”
However, Rogers silenced her former critics and turned a negative experience into a positive. She has since became the youngest person to ever walk during New York Fashion Week and has received a ton of support from several celebrities including Alicia Keys and Lupita Nyong’o.
The 11-year-old was also one of 16 girls chosen by LeBron James for his campaign collection with Nike. One of the most memorable moments for Rogers was when she starred on “America’s Next Top Model.”
“Just knowing that being a kid and you’re on ‘America’s Next Top Model’, and Tyra Banks is staring at you. That’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” the 11-year-old said.
Despite the hardships Rogers faced at such a young age, she has a bigger mission.
“It doesn’t matter what other people think about you. It’s what you think about yourself,” she said. “You should always believe in yourself.”
Rogers said she was grateful for her opportunity to be featured on Teen Vogue as well. She took to Instagram last week and wrote, “I am SO honored and excited to be included on @teenvogue’s 21 under 21 list! To be on this list with 20 other amazing girls truly means the world to me. I WILL continue to set a great example and inspire others with my platform.”
Rogers said she plans on expanding her clothing line with other positive messages and plans on having her own clothing store.