I have had to deal with a lot comments from people about my dark skin – Sachie if its a dark room, how will I find you?” or “if you were a little bit lighter you would look so pretty” (gee thanks!).
A story my grandmother told me. One of my dad’s friends visited us when I was about 2 months old and one of the first things he said was “Ananda, you will need to work hard to double to dowry (!!) you will give your daughter because she is a little on the darker side.” Because who wants to marry a dark girl right? (well the joke’s on you buddy).
On a slightly related note; when I went for a consultation with a makeup artist for my upcoming wedding she told me that I need to start getting chemical face peels done every month so that my skin will be “lighter” in time for the wedding. THANKS BUT NO.
Last year, couple of my friends at work and I were talking about our respective tattoos when another one of my colleagues decided to, very loudly across a table of people, ask me ” hey Sachie, did you get your tattoo done in white ink? because no one will be able to see a black tattoo on you.” This comment made me squirm.
Overheard during my time as a teacher.
x: “I think its such a crime that these parents are making this girl do sports:
y: “I know, its such a pity that her fair skin is getting dark after going for swimming lessons.”
x: “I would never do that to my child”
Another one of my ten year old students told me that she had to make sure she always had her umbrella with her because her father had told her that he is going to take daily pictures of her to monitor whether she is getting darker. She was also very confused by her father and his dark skin hating ways. Poor kid.
I know with time and amazing movements such as the Dark Is Beautiful campaign these traditional attitudes and definitions of beauty will evolve.
Also, please remember YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.