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Taking lessons from my own life, I just want to tell my daughter to be her own person who lives life on her own terms!
I wonder why our society is so unfair towards ‘dark-skinned’ girls and so obsessed with ‘fair-skinned’ girls? ‘Kitni kali hai (she is so dark!),’ ‘Kaise iski shadi hogi?(How will she get married?)’ ‘Kaun isko pasand karega? (Who would like her?)’
These are just some of the comments that my ears are bombarded with ever since I was a little girl. I wanted to ignore them but I couldn’t since there was not even a single person to support me or advice me on how to cope up with these embarrassing situations. (What I mean is that dark-skinned girls have a heart too. They feel bad too! The least you can do is consider them as humans.)
These things influenced me so much that by the time I reached college, I was unable to interact with my classmates. I had developed a severe inferiority complex and I barely had any confidence. When I was called names like ‘Kallo’ or ‘Kali Maa,’ I could never fight the people who called me those names. I couldn’t fight them because I was made to believe all my life that something was lacking in me and that I was at fault.
Sadly, most people in our society believe that beauty lies only in a fair or a lighter-skin toned people and that dark-skinned women are ugly. Believe me, it took me a really long time to overcome the inferiority complex that I’d developed since I was a child. I wanted to fight for myself but I couldn’t. Life wasn’t easy. My only strength was my academic excellence and I tried to focus only on my studies.
Thankfully, though my skin is not fair, life kind and fair enough to me and I also experienced a few magical moments when I got married to my love! (Yes, I found someone who loved me the way I was!) After our marriage, my husband supported me in every way possible. And then our princess arrived and as she grew up, my confidence found new wings to fly high and my inner beauty started radiating even more.
The other golden period in my life was when I started writing a few years ago and got a lot of appreciation and praise from my valuable readers. These were my dreams come true and I will cherish them forever. Finally, I was able to create my own identity. I was a little ‘late,’ but I did it and I am really happy to be recognised as a blogger now.
Luckily, thanks to the support from my family helped me overcome my inferiority complex and I have forgotten the issues with my skin-colour now. Today, I am living my life on my own terms.
Life is beautiful. And this isn’t only my story but that of every girl who has faced rejection in life owing to her dark complexion. ‘Dusky beauty’ is a fancy term that’s trending quite a lot these days. However, when I was younger, people would call me names like ‘kali kalooti,’ and now this fancy word ‘dusky’ is trending. Going by this norm dusky is exotic while dark (kali kalooti) isn’t!
That is why I told my daughter, don’t see yourself through other’s eyes. You can’t change everyone’s perception but you certainly can bring a positive change in yourself. Do well in your studies. And do what you are good at. Master it. Be yourself.
Stay determined and passionate about your goals and achieving them and be ready to write your own sparkling tale. Go ahead with a clear plan, bright vision, hope and dedication and you will definitely achieve your goals. Just stop listening to all the awful things people have to say. Do your bit silently and let your success speak.
And remember, there is no single and definite way to do this. You create your own path. Be yourself and the change you want to see. You have to find your own role model and that person should be you. Just learn to live life on your own terms.
A version of this was first published here.
Picture credits: Still from Google’s 2015 ad campaign on YouTube
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I am Smita Saksena. I am Author of two Books, Blogger, Influencer and a
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