Brown girl shamed for skin colour: When one of the siblings is fairer than the other, you know what society does? They body-shame them till they hate each other. But here’s what I did.
My parents, both fair and good-looking, were often asked the question of why their daughter was so dark? “Chandan lagao (Try Sandalwood)”, “fairness cream se nuksan thodi hoga iska…(Using fairness creams won’t hurt her)”, “shaadi kese hogi iski? (How will she get married?)” and many more. But my parents were just a couple who immensely loved their baby. After just a couple of years was born my sister who was probably the fairest baby my khandan had seen.
Body-shame is not just about the body but the mind too
Now, of course, the comments of having a girl child again were there but this time, my relatives started pointing out how she was going to give me a substantial amount of complex in our youth. The truth right now is she didn’t. But the society did. I never had a bad relationship with my sister but I became hating myself. The self-love was so low that I used to feel that I’ll grow up and invest my money in skin-lighting in the future.
And this wasn’t limited to relatives but every individual at school, college, work, and any other place would comment on how we look so apart. But in reality, we had the same features, same eyes, same smile but just different skin tone. And I understood one thing that irrespective of any features, the only thing people compared was the skin tone.
As we grew older, it was clear that I was the better one at studies and she wasn’t. And there goes another saga, “one got the looks and the other got the brains.” And no, this is not a praise or a compliment. It a very offensive comment to me and my sister equally.
We both started hating those aspects of us. She tried harder and harder in her studies but never really was happy in anything. And I started hiding myself in long and bulky clothes and avoiding pictures. We both developed different inferiority complexes and that hampered our mental health.
I have cried silently and I think my sister did too because of the comments and taunts. And dear society, this is where I would draw the line. Body-shaming affected our mental and physical health while we were growing up. Your comments made two underage girls weep tears without any fault. And this is not done.
I remember I was 18-19 years old when I first started transforming my outlook about my looks. I became more carefree and my sister followed. I started calling out body-shamers and openly criticised their taunts. This made them call me rude and arrogant but I couldn’t care less.
A message for the girls out there
The people who don’t contribute to your success, don’t deserve a spot in your precious mind. Don’t think about the passerby. Think about yourself. They say that our body is god-made and then they go ahead and criticise god’s creation. In science, just a few dominant and recessive characteristics of your gene don’t define you or your true self.
Dream big and do what makes you happy. And identify the people who matter. Remember to never hate the person you are being compared to but instead question the person who is comparing you in the first place.
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