When I started playing football, my mom would always be concerned with how dark my skin would be. She wouldn’t really stress that sun exposure wasn’t good for my skin (which I found out the hard way so always wear sunblock) but rather I wouldn’t look good in darker skin. However, I embraced my tan and felt beautiful in it. Being tan meant that I was out all day enjoying the sport I love or I was having fun at the beach. Being dark wasn’t much of a sacrifice because being able to play football gave me the empowerment I needed to fully accept and love myself. I was lucky that I was surrounded by teammates who never made our dark skin an issue but more of a thing to be proud of. The color of our skin was a testament to our achievements and commitment to football and I will always find that beautiful."