Since childhood, I have been slammed by society for my dark skin tone. Nobody wanted to be friends with me and whenever I came near them they would avoid me by saying that because I have dark skin I am a dirty girl. They would always bully me by saying that I didn’t take a bath daily, whoever comes near to me will have the disease of becoming dark like me. I would cry but nobody showed me any sympathy. If any outside activities were held they would push me to stand under the sun saying that I’m already dark, if I become a little darker nothing would happen. Everyone would say that my friends are beautiful, pretty etc. but nobody would say the same for me.
An incident took place when I think I was in class 6. I was at a wedding with my mother where we met a lady who asked my mother, “Is she your servant?” My mother was quite surprised and angry but replied in a normal tone that I’m her daughter. She again asked, “How can it be possible? You are such a beautiful lady with a good complexion, how could you give birth to a girl with such a dull complexion?” Whenever any guest would come to our house, they would often mistake me as a servant and whoever knows me would always say that if my complexion was light then I would have no problem in finding the so-called “Mr Perfect”.
Some people even make ridiculous comments like, “Is she a really Brahmin? Usually, Brahmin people have white complexion. How can she be so dark? Maybe she made some mistakes in her past life so she is suffering now.” Personally, I still can’t believe that I’m living in the 21st century. How can people be so irrational? I can’t understand what their problem is. What is the link between an individual, caste and skin colour? Why can’t they see as a human being? They check not only our skin or body, they also make sure that we should show the traits of femininity and if we show muscularity being a girl then they force us to change how we act.
These incidents haunted me and made me hate myself. I developed a feeling of jealousy towards ‘beautiful’ girls. I would always blame my mother for all these situations. I would always ask her why she did this to me. Why did she make me so ugly?
In order to become the centre of attention, I tried almost all the beauty and homemade products from a young age. I would rub my body vigorously so that I become clean and my white complexions come out. I would always pray to God and also did many fasts (though I’m an atheist now). I would limit going outside so that my skin doesn’t burn and I become beautiful. My obsession remained till class 9. However, my parents especially my brother, helped me out. My parents always encourage me to serve mankind as it is the ultimate happiness we get. My brother gave me books to read written by Bama, Jane Austen, etc. and introduced to me to my idol Simone de Beauvoir (I admire her immensely). I also read stories of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Michelle Obama, Leila Seth, Nivedita Menon etc. These strong persons and books inspired me to never lose confidence and fight back against all these people not only for myself but for those who also face similar situations.
I’d like to thank the people who have commented on my skin tone for making me stronger than before. For giving me the courage to revive my bitter memories and also helping me to identity my limitation. And also for showing and teaching me how you people control the girls by giving them a beauty concept and concept of “Mr Perfect” to protect us which make us the ‘weaker sex’ automatically. Because of these nonsensical concepts, girls and women were forced systematically to objectify themselves or and made to believe that without this, they would not get their soulmate or in other words, no one to protect them.