After 10-year-old Kheris Rogers was bullied by classmates for her darker skin and transferred to a new school to escape the taunting, her older sister Taylor Pollard stepped in to help boost the girl’s confidence.
“She started to notice she was different,” Pollard said in an interview with Buzzfeed. “She would cry a lot, and talk about how she doesn’t like her skin tone.”
Rogers told Mic she thought kids bullied her because they weren’t used to her skin tone. But, it didn’t stop with the students. “There was an incident with a teacher and we had to draw ourselves and she gave us a black crayon instead of a brown crayon, and I was really upset.”
Pollard posted pictures of Rogers on Twitter with the hashtag #FlexinInHerComplexion. The post soon went viral, getting retweeted over 30,000 times, and the compliments began to pour in.
“She is beautiful and so are you!! Great job sis. Keep uplifting your lil sis. She’s killin the game,” one user said.
The positive words not only raised the girl’s self-esteem, but they also gave her the inspiration to start her own clothing line “Flexin’ In My Complexion.”
“After I read all those comments I was like – wow – am I really that pretty?” Kharis told CBS Los Angeles.
The business stocks t-shirts in a several colours with the mantra "Flexin' In My Complexion" on them, and Pollard told Mic new styles like crop tops will soon be added for the summertime.
The money from the clothes, which cost $15 USD and up, will be going towards Rogers’ education.
The girl now has her own Twitter and Instagram accounts which her sister and mother help manage, and she posts photos of herself with uplifting captions.
"Kheris really thought she was the only one going through this, but Kheris now realizes that this is a global issue," Pollard told Mic. "She thought 'If I'm feeling this way, then we want to help others who are feeling bad about themselves too.'"
She added she hoped the fashion line would help other girls grow more confident.
“I just hope that especially for younger kids, people start to feel more confident in their skin.”