This teen made a meme to remind black children that their features are beautiful. Now it's viral.

This teen made a meme to remind black children that their features are beautiful. Now it's viral.
Source: Instagram
Source: Instagram

If you scroll through 19-year-old Jacinda's Instagram account, where she has more than 11,000 followers, you'll see flawless selfies and outfit appreciations, but interspersed among them are honest revelations she's had on her own journey to loving every part of herself.

"I love how now I'm slowly discovering every flaw I once disliked and slowly loving it," she wrote in May.

A photo posted by (@) on

Indeed, for years she struggled to love various parts of her — from her body to her lips — partly because she simply never saw black beauty being celebrated.

Now she wants to ensure that no other black children go through what she went through, thinking they aren't worthy or beautiful. And since it's 2017, Jacinda's using Instagram – and memes.

In May, she posted a meme that read "It took me a while to love my beautiful natural lips for the longest."

A photo posted by (@) on

That one got more than 60,000 likes.

Over the weekend, she posted another that read "When you realize having big lips is a trend but it took you a while to love your natural ones..."

A photo posted by (@) on

And that one's now gone viral, with 120,000 likes and counting.

"I wanted people to be aware that black children grow up living in a world where the media and society constantly reminds them that black beauty isn't beautiful," Jacinda said in an email. "Black children need to be surrounded and see representation on various types of black people when it comes to skin, hair type, appearance, etc. Not just one."

For Jacinda especially, people finally appreciating bigger lips not when they're just on white women like Kylie Jenner, is a major step in people understanding that there's more than one (very white) definition of beauty. As she reminded us, when MAC Cosmetics showed model Maryse Kye wearing their lipstick, she got called horrendous, racist names.

Jacinda doesn't want that to happen again, so these memes and encouraging posts may be a step in the right direction.

A photo posted by (@) on

"When I woke up and realized my post had gone viral, I was really shocked," Jacinda said. "I was baffled that over a million people had viewed my post. I believe some people loved it because they could relate."

But still, even in trying to promote a more diverse definition of beauty, Jacinda has gotten hate similar to that of Kye.

"Not everyone agreed with what I was putting out there and trying to shed light on," Jacinda said. "You still had disrespectful people calling my lips racial slurs, inappropriate names, telling me my insecurities about my lips are fake because now I love my lips now. Just in general people were making horrible assumptions about me."

A photo posted by (@) on

Obviously, there's work to do. But in the face of all that, she remains resilient, and only hopes that more people understand that not only is the journey to loving yourself a long one, but a necessary one too.

"I hope they understand that self-love in general is a journey that takes patience," Jacinda said. "Because you start discovering yourself and uncovering these layers of hatred you had for yourself for so long time, and realize the thing you've been hating for awhile is the thing that turns out to be your missing puzzle piece to your self-worth. The biggest weapon you can use against those who feel obligated to comment something negative about you is your confidence. Because trust me, they find it intimidating finding someone not self-loathing and letting people's judgement not get to them."

You can hear more of what Jacinda has to say about her lips and her journey here:

A photo posted by (@) on

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Rachel Lubitz

Rachel is a senior Style writer at Mic. She previously worked for The Washington Post's Style section for more than three years. Feel free to contact her at rachel@mic.com.

MORE FROM

Kendall and Kylie Jenner embroiled in another controversy? Must be Thursday.

The duo chose to superimpose their faces over Tupac's and Biggie's.

Forever 21 and Gucci are in a legal battle over some multi-colored stripes

Well, this is confusing.

This model broke down exactly what needs to change so women of all sizes can find a cute swimsuit

Among them: "We need cup sizes that correlate to bra sizes and they need to go past DD."

Please stop trying to make hairy clothing items happen

It's not going to happen.

The EveryMan Project is trying to bring men into the body-positive conversation

Photographer Tarik Carroll started the project with the goal of changing mainstream views on what men really look like.

Everything that you need to know about the lawsuit alleging Ivanka Trump ripped off Aquazzura shoes

She's been ordered to appear in court, but does that really matter?

Kendall and Kylie Jenner embroiled in another controversy? Must be Thursday.

The duo chose to superimpose their faces over Tupac's and Biggie's.

Forever 21 and Gucci are in a legal battle over some multi-colored stripes

Well, this is confusing.

This model broke down exactly what needs to change so women of all sizes can find a cute swimsuit

Among them: "We need cup sizes that correlate to bra sizes and they need to go past DD."

Please stop trying to make hairy clothing items happen

It's not going to happen.

The EveryMan Project is trying to bring men into the body-positive conversation

Photographer Tarik Carroll started the project with the goal of changing mainstream views on what men really look like.

Everything that you need to know about the lawsuit alleging Ivanka Trump ripped off Aquazzura shoes

She's been ordered to appear in court, but does that really matter?