Kheris colorism
Photo courtesy of PBS.org

11-Year Old Kheris Rogers, Once a Victim of Colorism, Launches Successful Clothing Line

At 11 years old, Kheris Rogers isn’t the European standard of beauty. Her smooth dark skin made her the butt of jokes in
school.


Her self-esteem waned. It wasn’t until her older sister took to social media to post her picture that Kheris began to embrace her rich complexion.

Colorism is still a volatile issue within the Black community. Skin-color bias affects perceptions and interactions in ways that are at once subtle and profound. Since Kenneth and Mamie Clark’s famous doll study of the 1950s, researchers have known that young people of color are profoundly aware of our other’s disdain for anything dark-skinned. Color consciousness between Blacks reflects unconscious and unspoken biases — otherwise called implicit biases — that favor lighter skin.

So what did Kheris decide to do She launched her own clothing line and campaign called #Flexin’ in My Complexion, which has won support from celebrities like Lupita Nyong’o and Alicia Keys.

The line, which infuses “Black Girl Magic” and a little swag, is something that’s fulfilling to the adorable middle schooler, who runs the business with her older sister, Taylor Pollard. Kheris, who was open about her experiences, stated: “‘You better flex in your complexion, girl’ is something my grandma always says, one of her good old down South sayings. My sister, Taylor, used it as a hashtag on my photo that went viral and it is the perfect slogan to empower the world to love their skin. ‘Flexin’ In My Complexion’ promotes the message that you are beautiful no matter what shade you are. In the near future, I hope to have my collection sold in major stores like Macy’s.”

The sisters are co-CEOs. Kheris is responsible for much of the creative side, while Pollard implements the vision.

Pollard, a graduate of the University of California, Riverside, studied art with a focus on photography and painting. So far the sisters have sold more than 10,000 t-shirts and have brought in $110,000 in revenue, according to Pollard, who does Flexin’ In My Complexion’s accounting.

“We are now saving for future ventures,” she tells CNBC. Those ventures include a college fund for Kheris.

 

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