Looking at Kheris Rogers, it’s hard to accept that this stunning 16-year-old was bullied as a child. “When I was about 6 years old, a lady at the store said to me, ‘Oh you’re so pretty for such a dark little thing',” Rogers tells EBONY. “My reply was, 'that’s rude. I’m just pretty.' My mom was so proud of me and just smiled and said, ‘Well I guess she told you!”
Rogers, who is signed with LA Model Management, is determined to make all young children (and adults) feel appreciated and love their luminous dark Black skin tone. She’s the author of Shine Bright, an empowering children’s book. “It’s based on my life story. We get to meet Imani who teaches us to love ourselves and our differences with pride. It’s a great story written in a way for young children to understand.” Roger’s goal is to encourage other kids that it “doesn’t matter what other people think about you, only what you think about yourself. If you are being bullied or see someone being bullied, tell someone you trust and get the help that you need.”
That person for Rogers was her older sister Taylor. "She was the first person that I confided in,” Rogers says. “Even though we’re 12 years apart we have always been super close and I knew if anyone could make it better it would be her. Over the years my entire family, including my internet family has spoken life into me and I can now confidently say there is nothing I can’t do if I set my mind to it.”
Rogers is already making her plans for the future, which include attending an HBCU “My granny went to Grambling. I want to major in business and maybe theatre.”
Image: courtesy of the artist.
The dual major makes sense for the budding entrepreneur, who has also started a clothing line, Flexin’ In My Complexion. “It’s designed to empower people to love the skin they are in. The letters are big, bold and powerful, just like the message,” Rogers explains. “I started Flexin’ In My Complexion after being bullied. When my sister and I went to our mom with the idea to launch the clothing line she gave us a couple of hundred dollars and told us to go for it. We designed the shirts and put them on the internet and they sold out in less than 15 minutes. It has been nonstop since then! We have t-shirts, hoodies, backpacks and tote bags.
Rogers is also dedicated to connecting with other teens to spread the word about self-love. “I recently held a teen summit at Loyola Marymount University in collaboration with the Jenessee Center. It was amazing and over 100 teenagers participated,” she shares. “We discussed topics including mental health, the effects of social media on your self-esteem, entrepreneurship and the entertainment industry. And on March 25 and 26, I will be hosting my first Women’s Roundtable to discuss the resilience of women and celebrate us for Women’s History Month. These roundtables will occur in Long Beach, California and Atlanta, Georgia.” For more information, visit highvibrationsteensummit.com.