Her name was Ebony White. Who could have known how apt her name would be? When she was born her mother took one look at her beautiful daughter – her skin so dark it was as reflective as a still lake on a moonless night – and knew her name was Ebony.
When Ebony was born she had no hair, so it came as something of a surprise to her mother when Ebony’s hair began to grow. As a child Ebony hated her hair. The kids at school would tease her and point their fingers, or whisper behind hands as she walked by. Regularly, Ebony would go home in tears and beg, “Mama, please let me dye my hair! I don’t want everyone to laugh at me anymore!”
And every time she asked, her mother would say in her heavy Ghanaian accent, “Ebony, God gave this hair for a reason. You will learn to love it. Until then, love yourself for who you are, as I do, not for what you look like.”
Now, fifteen years later, here she stood, moments away from her biggest job – the ‘Vogue’ cover. She looked at her reflection and loved all that she saw; her smooth black skin glistening with oil like polished obsidian, her wide mocha eyes highlighted with kohl pencil, her lean but shapely 5’11” frame, and her natural hair, her crowning glory, so blonde it was almost white and picked into the biggest, brightest afro it looked like a halo.
“Thank you, Mama,” Ebony whispered under her breath, as she did before every job. Then Ebony White took her place before the camera.