SOUTH LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A South Los Angeles girl spent way too long bullied by people who called her ugly -- because she had dark skin.
But CBS2's Joy Benedict reports the 10-year-old girl has a lot of confidence today.
A twist of fate and some photos on social media literally changed her life.
"I know I'm pretty I'm not gonna let anyone tell me different," says Kharis Rogers.
But that wasn't the case a few months ago...
"I just didn't feel I was that pretty. I thought it was really ugly, people telling me it was ugly." she says.
Rogers is talking about her skin tone...
"I felt like they were bullying me because of my skin color because I was darker," she says.
She remembers a moment in first grade that still hurts.
The teacher -- we were supposed to draw ourselves -- and she gave me a black crayon instead of a brown crayon, And I came home crying. I didn't know what to do," Kharis says.
Her mom did and switched her into a more diverse school. But still the nasty comments continued.
"There were a couple girls that were bullying me because I was too dark, but it was coming from black girls, too - so I was really confused," Kharis says.
Her big sister sprang into action.
"There is an issue of colorism in any race, and I think it's important to instill confidence," says sister Taylor Pollard.
So, their mom enrolled Kharis in a Saturday program at Amazing Grace Conservatory, where they held a fashion show a few weeks ago.
Big proud sis couldn't help but post a couple of photos on Twitter. "My sister is only 10, but already royalty. She added the hashtag -- flexin-in-her-complexion !"
"She's a chocolate girl dressed nice had her natural hair showing I just wanted to put it out there she was flexing her complexion," says Pollard.
It resonated with thousands of people on social media -- liked 80,000 times. The compliments also poured in.
"In social media, it seems that people are more willing to give her compliments," says Pollard.
Reaching an audience she wouldn't ordinarily meet.
"After I read all those comments I was like -- wow-- am I really that pretty?" Kharis asked.
As for those bullies she now knows what to say.
"Everybody is pretty in their own way," she says.
A lesson for other girls -- young and old-- regardless of their complexion.
"Always believe in yourself; don't let nobody tell you different," Kharis says.
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