Being dusky is beautiful is what I state now. Today, I look at my skin as if it is something that makes me beautiful, that makes me “me”.
But has it always been this way? Haha, I’d say otherwise.
I remember being 5 or 6 years old when my mom used to apply besan (gram flour) on my dark skin, rubbing it rigorously every time, not caring that my sensitive skin is allergic to it and leaves my skin red with full of rashes later. I remember her buying fairness creams for me and forcing me to apply it every morning and evening, before I used to step out.
I can vividly recall my aunt looking at me with pity and saying “koi bat nahi, jab badi hogi toh rang saaf ho jayega” (its okay, her skin tone will improve with age) to which all I could do is smile.
I remember being compared to my own sister, cousins and friends with better complexions and crying, only to pledge that I would change my color, anyhow.
I was 12 then, and that was when it finally began.
I started to apply all those packs and fairness creams. I remember sitting near the mirror and comparing my skin tone to the “so called shade card” given with the box and seeing if it got any lighter.
I remember telling my friends stories about how fair I was when I was born, and how I caught a disease later that did this to my skin. The funny thing is this was something that was told to me.
But this time I had been doing this on my own.
My obsession crossed heights at the time when I had started to literally pray to god to make me fairer.
But in the later years, I stopped. It didn't happen with the snap of a finger though. It took me a lot of time and affirmations to accept myself. A part of my heart still sinks when I recall these incidents and I wonder how my younger self must have felt then. I don’t blame her for behaving the way she did. I guess so many of us have treated our insecurities the same way or maybe have been made to do so. I won’t be asking anyone to stop and start loving themselves because I'm still struggling with it. But what I know now is not a single person in the world deserves to hear that “their bodies make them someone less than the others”.