“You’re so pretty, it’s just unfortunate that you’re dark.”
“Why don’t you want to use make-up to make yourself look fairer?”
“It’s important that the man you marry is darker than you, else you’ll constantly feel inadequate.”
“You can’t wear that color, you’re too dark for it!”
For many of us, who are multiple shades darker than Kareena Kapoor, hearing the above statements is a common occurrence. The tone for these range from concern to pity, curiosity, and mockery.
Being raised in a society that has an unfair obsession with fair skin, many of us struggle with self-confidence and self-love. We find it difficult to love ourselves, our skin and our body!
Though many of us are still struggling to accept who we are, some of us have been successful in breaking the hateful circle of self-loathing and falling in love with themselves.
And, here is one such strong woman who was shamed and punished by society for her color at every moment of her life. Till she found the real beauty in her courage to love herself.
She shared her heart-touching story with HoB recently,
“I remember I was in 2nd grade when, just for fun, I got up and drew doodles on the blackboard. But before I could erase it, the teacher walked in.
As a punishment, she coloured my face with chalk, and asked me to parade around in the class. It was humiliating. I knew that if I was fair, she probably wouldn’t have done that.
Growing up, I didn’t have any friends — I was shunned because of my color. I could see the look of disgust on people’s faces when I would try to talk to them. My own family treated me differently as well.
Relatives would suggest different remedies I could use to ‘better’ myself. I was getting sick and tired of it, but I had no out.
Once I was travelling in a bus with my brother, who is much fairer than me. For some reason, the conductor refused to believe that we were related, and in front of everyone asked me to get up. He then made me sit next to a man with a darker complexion and told me that he was my brother. I was so embarrassed!
All of these things broke my self-esteem bit by bit. I was being punished for my colour, something I wasn’t even responsible for.
But I found my light at the end of the tunnel when, while going to church, I saw Anand. It was love at first sight for me. He saw me too, but we didn’t speak to each other. When I asked around, I realised that he stayed in my neighbourhood, and the very next day I received an Orkut request from him!
We started talking and I realised that he saw me for who I was as a person and not what I looked like.
He made me feel like there was nothing to be afraid of. Slowly our texts, turned into long conversations over the phone, and then into dates that lasted for hours. We fell in love, and within a year, we decided to get married.
I remember everyone, including his mom, told him that he would find someone better than me and didn’t have to settle.
But he made sure to tell everyone off, and made me feel that he was lucky to have me. So without a care in the world, we got married.
Of course there were still a few people who gave us strange looks and questioned him.
But it didn’t matter to us. We were happy in our own little cocoon. Soon after, when our son Ryan was born, people actually had the audacity to say how glad they were that he didn’t get my complexion.
That’s when I realised that I’m always going to be judged — people will keep saying hurtful things and point fingers at me.
The whole world will always be against me. I can’t change any of that, but what I can change is how I react. My anger and hatred won’t make any difference — it never has.
But my acceptance and self-love just might. If nothing else, it’s a good start.”
We are so proud of this woman who hasn’t shied away from sharing how the victims of body-shaming feel. Many of us struggle hard to accept ourselves as we are caught up in the vicious circle of self-loathing.
If you are also a victim of body-shaming, we hope that soon you would be able to free yourself from the shackles of society’s negative voices. The voices that make you feel less adequate & less beautiful.
We hope that your life gives you so much self-love and power, that it heals every part of you!