Dark And Lovely: A Teenager Talks Romance And Self Esteem

Dec 21, 2017

Somethings never change, like the rollercoaster ride of emotions our teenagers face when they fall in love. Here's a story about romance and high school from a student at Ponitz Career Technology Center.

My name is Lovely - yes, that’s my real name. I’m a 17-year-old black girl that goes to Ponitz Career Technology Center. My story is about dealing with low self-esteem. In elementary school, from kindergarten until 6th grade, I went to an all-girls school and was always around females. When I got to middle school, I started going to a coed, predominantly white school called STEM.

In 7th grade, I had my first real crush on a real boy, not a celebrity but a real boy. J was one of the only black guys at my school. I told my friend Brittany that I liked him but was scared to tell him. I remember being so excited for the fall dance. Up until then, I had only been to childish father-daughter dances.  I had done so much for the dance. I got my hair done, new shoes, the new outfit, lips glossy, and everything.

The day of the dance, I found out Brittany had asked him to be her date, and he said yes. I felt betrayed. I thought black girls were supposed to stick together. I felt crushed. Why would he like her over me? Was I not pretty enough? Maybe I was too ugly for any boys to like me. All my friends had all these cute guys texting them and liking them. It really made me feel jealous because I wished that guys would gawk and thirst over me like they did all the other girls. 

There were so many times that I crushed on boys from a distance, but they end up like my friend.  All of this made feel very insecure. I know that I’m a good kind person, and I get good grades but I’m very shy when it comes to boys I think are cute or have a crush on. I think they’re going to think I’m ugly.

Last year on Valentine’s day, things took a turn. I went to school feeling sort of down that day because girls were walking around with gift bags and chocolates and presents from boys. I was just ready for the day to be over. 

Finally the bell rang, and I was on my way out the door when a guy from my class named Tavion gave me a big stuffed bear. It was brown with a little red ribbon around its neck.

Now let me tell you about Tavion. He has a beautiful smile. He's stocky but strong, and he has dark brown skin like a chocolate bar. I was so excited; I had never had a boyfriend before. I can't believe this quiet guy who never talked to me liked me this whole time. I felt so good when I went home that day; a boy actually like me and not my friend.

The next week we went on a date. He really charmed me because he was a gentleman. He paid for our tickets and opened the door for me and all that mushy stuff. A few weeks after that he asked me to be his girlfriend.

The whole time I was feeling down about myself, there was someone who saw good things about me. This is my first boyfriend, and I don't know if we are going to be together forever and ever because I know that's not realistic. But I'm glad to be his girlfriend, and I'm glad that he's my man. 

I feel like all girls should try to feel good about themselves. There are good things in everyone, but sometimes it just takes the right person to see it.

Lovely Nalls is a student at Ponitz CTC High School. Special Thanks to Ponitz Radio media arts instructors Joanne Viskup and Jeffrey Crowell. Learn more at the school's website: http://ponitzctc.org/

Dayton Youth Radio is supported by the Virginia W. Kettering Foundation and the Ohio Arts Council