Dark is beautiful. No, I’m not advocating the principles of any organisation. The fair is lovely, dark is beautiful fight is far from over in India. There are people on both sides who argue with utmost optimism that their belief is upheld at all times.
Mine is merely an account of my experiences based on my past and my beliefs based on the society around me including my family and friends.
Right from a young age, I was constantly told don’t go out in the sun. Being a tomboy didn’t help one bit as I spent most of my time playing under the sun. With an extreme tan that became worse with age, read permanent, most people do a double take when looking at my pics from being a baby to a 4 year old. “What happened?” they ask in horror imagining some horrible accident I guess. “That’s my skin colour”, I answer with a shrug of the shoulder. Deal with it.
After a certain age, the typical Indian motherly response to a dark skinned daughter is “Here. Put this on your face. The next door aunty’s mother’s sister’s daughter-in-law gave this homemade pack recipe. It has turmeric in it. It’ll help make you fair.” So, through huge batches of homemade turmeric and gram flour and tomato and lime packs I trudged on.
I would take a look in the mirror now and then asking myself, “Am I really so dark? Is that a bad thing? Am I losing anything because of that? Do people like me a little less because of my colour? Will I lose friends? ” And so on it went.
On the other hand, the overprotective father did his part by buying all he could – fairness creams. All brands, all sizes, chemical based, Ayurveda based, anything he could lay his hands on. There was testing done before I applied it laboriously for weeks for some result to show on my face.
Again the mirror task – “If I become fair will people accept me? Will fair skin mean I’ll be popular? Will I be more successful just because my skin colour becomes 4 shades lighter?”
The inferiority complex that this brought on can’t be explained in words. I was never the same. It wasn’t my parents. It wasn’t my friends. It wasn’t even the society around me that has been conditioned that girls have to be fair. Ticking wheatish complexion, instead of outright accepting that dark skin is the appropriate option, is a side effect of this craze.
Now, this is to put an end to all of it.
I accept it.
Dark is beautiful.
Do you agree?
Do comment below and let me know.
PS: The reason for this ‘coming out’ post is because 2 relatives are discussing me, in front of me, “She is BLACK but she is beautiful!”