Taught To Hate My Dark Skin As A Kid, Today I Proudly Own It!

Like most dark-skinned women, I too was shamed for my skin colour. It took me years to come to terms with and love my skin the way it is!

Like most dark-skinned women, I too was shamed for my skin colour. It took me years to come to terms with and love my skin the way it is!

I was actually very conscious of my skin tone since I was very young. It wasn’t in-build and neither was I aware of the different shades of skin tones when I came out of my mother’s womb.

I started becoming conscious about it when I heard the whispers in my ears when I wasn’t even old enough to understand what it meant. All I knew was that their energies and facial expressions told me that there was something uncommon or wrong about me. Those whispers made me feel embarrassed about myself even before I understood what skin tone meant.

The source of all these breaths of poison that still suffocates society, especially darker-skinned girls are their very own relatives! They have these piercing glares that make you uncomfortable with your own skin.

I had very low self-confidence

The most disturbing thought was whether I was God’s mistake! That’s what I started to think as a kid. Needless to say, I had very low self-confidence. Rather, I barely had any self-confidence! Some times I felt like I should be invisible.

My mother told me to put a number of things on my face to make it fairer. But I always asked her – ‘Why should I? If this is how God wanted me to be, why must I change that?’ As a teenager, I decided not to put anything on my face though, I was irritated by my own self. This was my way of protesting against God.

I remember someone telling me once, ‘Ladki ke nain-naksh toh kaafi sundar hain. Bas thoda rang hi keh lo. (The girl is very pretty but the only issue is her skin colour).’ When I heard this, I simply smiled while hiding my irritation.

From a very young age, my parents taught me that I could be anything if I was good at academics and had control over my life. As a young girl, I believed that I could change people’s perceptions too! However, I realised very soon that this shadow of my skin tone can overpower all my achievements.

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Over the years, I have learnt to love my skin!

I realised that I could be a very successful woman but people will still discuss my skin tone behind my back. That people are often shameless enough to even do that to my face, instead of talking about my achievements.

But time has taught me a few lessons too!

I have learnt to love my skin tone, whether anyone else loves it or not. In fact, I am very comfortable in my own skin and I have found that my ‘thoda sa daba rang’ (slightly dark skin tone) is very appealing. Now, I don’t care about the aunties discussing my body and skin colour shamelessly.

I love myself the way I am and I am actually very proud of it. You all should be proud of yourselves. Look at yourself with your own eyes instead of society and it’s filthy shades. I find everyone beautiful!

Picture credits: Still from Bollywood movie Dhoom 3

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Komal Phalswal

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