DARK AND UNBOTHERED.

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For a country that is so diverse in culture, you would think we’d have different representations across all platforms in terms of face, skin colour, body, etc.

Well, you thought wrong. How wrong? As wrong as Vogue India was in putting Kendall Jenner on the cover of their 10th-anniversary special.

As some of you guys may know, I’ve gone on a rant about the whole “Indians-hate-dark-complexion” campaign at least twice on my blog. I’ve written multiple posts so I guess you need to comb through my archives (I just said that out loud, and…yeah)

BUUUUUT, that’s not the point of my actual post.

This particular post is about growing up as a South-Indian girl with a dark complexion, and all the things I’ve heard and understood about my skin colour from people who think themselves experts on validating an individual based on the colour of their skin. These are accounts of almost every single, horrid phrases hurled my way, and mind you, I’m 24 years old, so I have enough and more to talk about.

I’ve compiled a list of the most commonly heard phrases thrown my way (and other dark-skinned people, raise your hands!) and let’s deconstruct them together because, why not?

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  •   “You’ve gotten so dark! Why don’t you use Fair & Lovely?”

I’ve been handed a total of 7 tubes of Fair & Lovely throughout 24 years of my life. The first tube was completed within a week, as I kept applying it onto my face every chance that I got, just like my need back then to be “fair and pretty”. The second and third tubes were used but with a little doubt, just like my growing apprehension as to WHY I needed to change. As much as I wanted to, I couldn’t help but wonder why. The fourth and fifth tubes were opened with a cautious eye, just like my instinct towards people who have an opinion on my complexion. And finally, the sixth and seventh tubes have been laid to rest, never having been opened, just like people’s opinion on how neon colours on dark skin is a big no-no. Rest in peace.

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  •   “Stop going out so much! Cover your face with a dupatta!”

The ‘Mom logic’ or ‘Neighbour Aunty logic’, wherein, a simple cotton/silk shawl when wrapped around one’s face prevents the sun’s UV rays from darkening said person’s skin. Military grade armor to protect against the sun’s rays? Puh-leeze, the only thing I need is the cotton shawl that I bought for fifty bucks to protect myself from the real enemy of every single Indian woman ……*gulp*… A TAN. Forget skin cancer, a tan is what makes or breaks you in the eyes of all the aunties. A peeling sunburn? Who cares!? But a TAN LINE? Hell NAW. A single tan line is enough for them to get you a lifetime worth of Fair & Lovely supplies. A single tan line is enough for them to transform into an expert and go on a three-day lecture about why you won’t end up getting married. Give Indian aunties a nuclear missile, they’d probably end up aiming and destroying the Sun for good.

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  • “You look like you came straight out of Africa!”

Hold up, hold up, HOLD UP! So you’re comparing me to people from Africa, the continent where THE MOST exquisite looking people come from? Oh my goodness, I am very much offended, please stop comparing me with beautiful people. I am hurt that you would compliment my features by saying “it looks African”, please stop. Let me just go out in the sun without a dupatta and come back with a super tanned face so you can insult me more. HOW IS THIS EVEN AN INSULT? Indians, I tell you. They play the victim when there’s racism thrown against them, and yet can’t even stop themselves from conforming to a fair-skinned society.

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  •  “Why don’t you apply turmeric on your face?”

Because my aspiration in life is to NOT walk around looking like a decayed minion. I agree turmeric does have great medicinal properties that heal skin problems, but covering my face with it for the sole purpose of turning “white” is a bit of a stretch. I don’t mind the information, but if I had a rupee for every single time someone suggested that I apply turmeric powder on my face, I’d have enough money to buy a shipment of Fair & Lovely, and squeeze it into the mouths of every single person who suggested turmeric in the first place. It’s crazy, aunties turn into Oprah and go “You get turmeric! You get turmeric! Everyone gets turmeric!” If aunties were drug dealers, they’d peddle turmeric powder, and the cost wouldn’t even be that high. They’d give it for free depending on how tanned you are.

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  • “I bet you’d look prettier if you were fairer”

I bet you’d get smarter after I hit your face with a dictionary.

The Earth revolves around the Sun = Proved. The mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell = Proved. The lighter the skin, the prettier = Not proved, especially by your stupid ass.

Now, I’m sure some of you are pretty riled up after reading this. Go outside, take a few deep breaths, and punch a racist. Actually, don’t, because I’d hate to lose followers.

But in all seriousness, we dark-skinned women are smart enough to not get dragged down by such immaturity. In fact, all women of colour aren’t wasting their time over such nonsense, since we’re too busy slaying, fashion-wise, and our enemies 😉

Because no matter what you say, in the end, I will always be

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DARK & UNBOTHERED.

Cheers,

WBG :)x

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47 thoughts on “DARK AND UNBOTHERED.

  1. Pooja @lostinprettyeurope says:

    What an excellent post! Was smiling the whole time. It’s the same story in Nepal, although I think it’s not as extreme as in India. Every time I go home to Nepal after getting tanned here in Europe (I love the sun!), I get commented on my skin color. How I used to be light-skinned and have changed for the worse. How I shouldn’t go out on the sun, etc. Haha. Skin color is seriously the least of my worries, and it should be that way for everybody. As long as you have a great attitude and healthy body, who cares about the complexion? Keep rocking your dark skin! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Ameena k.g says:

    I’m like hold up! hold up! hold up! How on earth do people think it is within their legislature and business to declare what is beuatiful about another persons skin colour?! Utterly ridiculous. As a Nigerian, I have actually heard of people who have used bleaching products on their skin with actually no effect (thank you God). Maybe it’s natures way of reminding us, melanin rocks. And about that Kendal Jenner cover, I’m not an India, but I thought it was absurd and uncalled for, I mean what happened to all the beauties in India or at least south east Asia?! That was a very wrong move I believe.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That Weird Brown Girl says:

      Who gave people the right to step up as the supreme declarer of “what’s hot and what’s not”? Sheesh, it’s like a B-grade movie about cliques in high school *rolls eyes* And that’s true about the bleaching products here too! People go as far as to dump a whole bottle of talcum powder on their face only to end up looking a zombie.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. middleageschmo says:

    If said racist is reaching out to hand me a Pepsi, do I still punch them in the face? I don’t want to ruffle Kendall Jenner’s impact on world peace by using a Pepsi as a vehicle for it. I need clarification on this please.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sunset says:

    You’re right, I was super riled up after reading this. Thank you for making this post, I wasn’t even aware of this sort of pressure to be light-skinned. I feel stupid for not knowing but I’m glad I do now. I love this post, especially the little cartoons you drew 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Catherine says:

    Colorism certainly is not unique to one culture. I am a darker skinned Black woman and I use to get teased about my complexion all the time. I agree with your have the opinion regarding assholes who want to say something negative about our skin color. Dark and lovely any day! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  6. righteousbruin9 says:

    I find it ridiculous for anyone to worry about someone else’s complexion. Racism is a universal phenomenon, even in Africa, with so many buying into the Euro-nonsense about how girls, in particular, “need” to be light on the melanin. I’m whitepink and to me, women are beautiful, regardless of skin tone.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. bloggeray says:

    Wow!
    To write on a topic like this with so much wry humour, particularly in the latter half, kudos to you!
    And oh, our propensity to humiliate and stereotype others for their skin colour and then play victim when we are faced with some racism ourselves is, well, legendary by now.
    And covering the skin with dupatta to avoid the tan, gosh!
    Vibrant post, again. I was thinking, why don’t you submit this to a top-notch publication or website. The content, it is simply great.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That Weird Brown Girl says:

      Thank you thank you 🙂
      Well, I have half a mind to buy this domain and turn it into a full-fledged website, but that’s only after I get a job will I be able to accomplish that! And could you send me a few links to some kickass websites? I would love to sumit this 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • bloggeray says:

        That sounds like an amazing idea. You could also create a site from scratch instead of buying the site from WordPress. Should be cheaper, I guess.

        Sites? Times of India, Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Web, The Logical Indian, even ScoopWhoop.
        Posting on any of these will provide your article with the kind of readership it deserves, and should translate into more viewership for the blog too, if nothing else.
        Good luck. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Philip Wardlow says:

    HA…. funny stuff…. I don’t get any of what you get. With me being of mixed race from a black father and a white mother I do get the looks and direct questions (which I don’t mind) when they try to figure me out.

    Living in a northern climate in the USA my skin tone changes per the season. In the winter I start to go paler and if I let my beard grow in I look middle eastern and I get padded at the airport gates more than most…(not shit I do) and the odd looks from people in grocery stores as I shop. If I don’t let my beard grow out in the winter I just look like a pale black vampire who needs a drink… 🙂

    If I am out in the sun a lot in the summer then I will get people start sayin Hola to me or Adios… no shit …they think I am of some Latin descent. I just say “Hola” back to them 🙂

    When in college I used to be mistake for Indian all the time no matter the season. The University had a good population of Indian students attending. I always wanted to create an Indian name for me back then because I thought Indian names were very musical or poetic to the ear especially certain first and last names when said together…. side note there 🙂

    Thanks for your view on it all…

    Liked by 1 person

  9. laurelwolfelives says:

    Great post! To all those who criticize your color, tell them to stick their opinions where the sun “don’t shine.”
    Embrace your color and your heritage.
    My great-grandfather was French Indian and he had “dark skin.” To me, he was beautiful.
    The next time somebody hands you a tube of skin-lightening crap, open it and squirt them in the eye with it! 😘

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Itching for Hitching says:

    Great post WBG but don’t we live in a crazy world. Here in Australia I used to get teased for being too white. Mostly if I tried to tan I’d burn. Thankfully it’s not such an issue now probably because a) I’m an old duck b) people are more conscious of skin cancer c) we’re now a more diverse population of all colours. But probably just cos I’m an old duck!
    I love your illustrations.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Tavleen (Travelling Through Words) says:

    “women of colour aren’t wasting their time over such nonsense, since we’re too busy slaying, fashion-wise, and our enemies”
    Yes, we are!!!
    I’m so glad I found your blog. Those aunties should go and open their mind for once in their lives. I will never touch Fair and Lovely or any other cream like that again in my life. It feels great to embrace yourself just the way you are. Great post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Samantha says:

    OMG, people actually told you you’d probably be prettier if you’d be fairer??? D: What’s WRONG with them? Geesh!

    You know, I was bullied a lot in high school. Wanna know why? Because I have a pale skin! Go figure. Nothing’s every good enough, is it? When you’re pale, people tell you to get a tan. When you have a darker skin, people tell you to literally lighten up (also: it very much worries me there are products being made to lighten your skin – which reminds me I sometimes use “Summer Glow Body Lotion”… Kind of the same, unless the “fairer skin” products chemically burn off the tan O_o).

    How come nobody ever says: you are beautiful just the way you are.

    Oh wait, Bruno Mars did. Well, he was right. We each have our own beauty and we should all be taught to appreciate and respect it.

    I am a little upset after reading this, but only because people’s rudeness baffles me. Good for you you stopped caring and embraced your skin tone! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • That Weird Brown Girl says:

      Yeah, I’ve heard of the EXACT opposite happening to people with paler skin! The thing is, it’s never enough, sometimes. But the best way to go about is to, literally, STOP GIVING A DAMN. It’s super hard at first, because we’ve been conditioned at a very young age that you must look “a certain way” to feel beautiful. I guess, as you grow older you become more…….aware of such things and you stop caring.

      You wouldn’t believe it, but some of these weird creams have bleach in them (even when they swear they don’t, duh!) and people die without it. It’s sad, actually.

      I’m just glad I’ve reached that stage where I know I’m smokin’ hot and sexy, so that’s one less burden to bear xD

      Liked by 1 person

  13. The Halaman says:

    awesome post, Twinnie! the same thing goes on in the Philippines actually, it’s practically embedded in the culture. but i do see a lot of people standing up for their natural skin color, and it’s beautiful. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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