Ten-year-old Kheris Rogers knows what it’s like to feel like an outsider.
The Los Angeles fifth grader had to transfer from her mostly white school to a more racially diverse one to avoid being bullied for her dark skin. But when she got to her new school, she was still taunted—and to her surprise, from other Black classmates.
“I just didn’t feel I was that pretty. I thought it was really ugly, people telling me it was ugly she told CBS Los Angeles back in April. She added: “I felt like they were bullying me because of my skin color because I was darker.”
But the pre-teen has turned her mistreatment into an empowering lesson of self-love by starting a new t-shirt line that celebrates her skin color. Rogers said that she was inspired to create “Flexin’ In My Complexion” after she and her 22-year-old sister Taylor Pollard started a Twitter account that consisted of pictures of Rogers. The account went viral with people praising the tween for being unapologetically Black and her courage to speak out against colorism.
Fans also stressed that Rogers was a beautiful young girl.
“After I read all those comments I was like – wow – am I really that pretty?” Rogers told CBS Los Angeles.
And from there, a grand idea was born:
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Flexin' In My Complexion 👸🏿 Thank you @creativesoulphoto for these beautiful photographs and @imlachanda for getting me on fleek! I truly appreciate it and had so much fun in NY! #kheris #kherisrogers #flexininmycomplexion #naturalhair #naturalhairstyles #protectivestyles
The t-shirts cost up to $15 and proceeds will go to funding her education.
“I wanted to create this clothing line to inspire other people to be confident and comfortable in their skin,” she stressed. “The reason why the font on our Classic shirts is so bold is because we wanted the shirts to be just as bold as the message.”
She also plans on adding other styles for the summer that includes fitted shirts, crop tops and toddler sizes.
In the end, Rogers is just excited that her mission is being celebrated and has resonated with so many people.
“It is very exciting that so many people are supporting,” she says. “There have been so many people reaching out and telling me their own stories, and I appreciate it because I know that I am not alone in my experience.”
Interested in buying a t-shirt? Learn more about “Flexin’ In My Complexion” here.