In a country like India, when it comes to describe someone’s beauty only people who are fair are beautiful and dark skinned girls like me are way in the bottom. I remember in school even though I was always appreciated for my dance moves I was never placed in the centre because I was dark and it was always the girls with light skin who were given the lead roles.
I am someone who has been called kaali, African, Nigga all through my teens and let me tell you it hurts. It hurts so much that I have spent so many nights crying and asking God is it my fault that I was born with this colour? And these fairness cream ads that come on tv did not help my self esteem either. I have had so many people come up to me and “advice” me to use so many products like fair n lovely, turmeric paste and what not so that my complexion lightens. I was asked not to go out in the sun too much as it is only going to make me darker.
My friends used to tell me that I have pretty features for a dark skinned girl. Why use that but? Can’t I just be a girl who is pretty? I started hating my dark skin so much. I would shy away from wearing red, yellow and all these bright colours because it was imprinted in my mind that this contrast is only going to make me look darker.
When I was 18 I started using all these camera apps that would make me look fairer and prettier because in my mind only fair people are beautiful and dark people are ugly.
But then I met some amazing people who helped me in gaining my confidence back. I am 23 now and am proud of my dark skin. I wear all the colours in the universe now red, orange, electric blue – you name it and I have worn it. I also wear red lipstick now.
I am writing this post because today I met my best friend who is very beautiful not just because she is fair. Her friend made a comment saying that I thought your friend will be like you but she is Black. And even today these comments put a slight damper on my mood. I’ve realized that people scrutinize me the most for my skin color. I know I’m considered the “pretty for a dark girl” and many Indian men find me less desirable because I’m darker. But I am finally Ok with it. India is always going to be OBSESSED with white skin and I have come to terms with it. I believe that if you love your own skin, beauty will follow.