While waiting to join our theater’s yoga class back in 2001, I chatted with a friend about our weekend plans.

“Do you want to get together on Saturday?” I asked her.

“Depends on what time. I have a tanning appointment at noon,” she said.

I rolled my eyes. “Why are you trying to be black? Paying to make your skin darker like mine!? Seriously?” I said. (This wasn’t said in a demeaning way. She was my best friend at the time and we often spoke like this.)

She rolled her eyes. “Why are you trying to be ‘white’?” she said, “Paying to make your hair straighter like mine!? Seriously?”

We both laughed. But that was the FIRST time I ever thought about that. It would be three years later when I finally did stop paying to make my hair straighter. But that was the little pebble thrown in the water that would have a ripple effect years later. I had NEVER thought about the fact that I was paying to be different than I naturally was.

When did that happen for you? Was it something that was years in the making or did you have a moment like that where all of a sudden it was thrown in your face?