I got to be really aware of noticing all of the differences, all the things that aren't ideal. I didn't want to be who I was.
My name is Maridelle. I was born in Manila, Philippines. I was three years old when my family immigrated. In our family and with our culture, darker skin is considered not as good as lighter skin. Until I was 8 years old, I thought it was just in my family that people believe that or Filipinos believed that but I learned that a lot of other people believe that as well. First time I got to paint with paint brushes on an easel and had gotten paint all over my hands and I remember turning to the boy next to me and saying something like "oh, I'll have to go wash my hands, they're all dirty" and he said to me, "your skin always looks like dirt, it doesn't matter if you wash your hands." That was the first time that I realized, or what I thought I learned was everyone thinks brown skin looks like dirt. I just remember feeling like I was ugly and I would always be ugly.
Video interviews coming soon. In the meantime, to hear more, listen to this condensed audio of Maridelle's name story.