I am of Indian origin, my skin is fairly dark (go ahead and look at my ‘About Me’ page) and for a long time I wished I was white. Most of my friends were white, everyone on TV was white, so it just seemed like the right thing. I hated looking different and having friends joke about my skin color. I once even had a girl say that my brown skin made me look dirty! At that point I was ashamed that I couldn’t scrub off my skin color. I used to fantasize about going into the shower, getting a sponge and washing away the color.
I think it started with what I perceived as beautiful at a young age. I thought beautiful meant having bright colored eyes, blonde straight hair, freckles, and fair skin. I was none of that. My hair is thick and wavy, my eyes are black and my skin is brown. I thought that meant I was automatically unattractive, at least compared to every white girl.
I used to get frustrated when buying clothes, all the models in the pictures were light skinned. I thought everything looked so much better on them. Their skin color matched the clothing where as I felt mine always clashed. Looking back on it I know it sounds ridiculous but I was honestly annoyed I didn’t look like them. I wanted to see girls that looked like me modeling clothes!
Make up was another thing that irritated me. I always felt like there was way more for those with lighter skin. So many brands wouldn’t even go as dark as my skin color, or the stores simply wouldn’t stock them. It felt incredibly frustrating to find a brand that would match my skin tone.
I remember sitting in classes and noticing I was the darkest person in the room. I don’t know why I even noticed that, it’s not like it makes a difference. Somehow I had trained myself to look out for others who were dark, like maybe they also felt the same way as me. I even used to think it was weird when white people would want to be my friend. I thought to myself, “Really? You want to be friends with the weird Indian girl?”. I really needed to work on my self-esteem in my younger years.
Today, I don’t wish I was white. I’m happy with my black hair and deep brown skin. I know it doesn’t define me. If my skin was lighter, I’m sure I would be pretty much the same person I am today. I am proud to be of Indian origin.