Many teenagers as well as adult women are affected by this and feel less beautiful, or have low self-esteem or feel they are inferior to those who are fairer. It's unbelievable the things that are said to darker girls, sometimes even by their own family members. Some of them are;
- You’re nice looking though you’re dark
- Haiyo! you didn't take after your mom, your are dark like your father
- Child try some of that home remedies I told you
- I heard that there is this fairness cream that will help you
- You are pretty for a dark girl
- Before the wedding try and go for some facials to get a bit fair
- How come you are dark and your sister is that fair girl no?
- You'd be so much prettier if you were fairer
These things are said to us from people who are close to us and these can really be damaging to one’s self worth.
The result of being belittled like this is due to girls wearing foundation colors that are 2-3 shades lighter than their skin tone, trying so many whitening creams and pills which can be harmful, going to salons to do treatments that lighten one's skin and feeling ugly just because you are not pasty white.
Why is it so important for us to think that we are beautiful?
The Fairness Cream Madness and Its Dangers
It's important to understand the danger of fairness creams. So if you are a regular user of these fairness potions, please go to the Internet and search on Google or YouTube about the dangers of fairness creams (the formulation). Some countries have even banned the advertisements of fairness products such as Fair and Lovely. Some dark skinned girls from the University of Texas have also started a campaign against colourism #Unfair&Lovely. This is something I passionately back up 100% because South Asian girls too need to be broken away from the chains of culture that tells us that a dark girl is not pretty or a dark girl is simply plain ugly. It is sad to hear at family dinner where an aunty will comment on one's color. Many a times I hear people referring to people just by color - identifying each other as the dark girl or that fair girl. Speaking of any characteristic like that I feel it is insulting and politically incorrect as Americans would say. Sri Lankans would love to call you by “oh that taaaalll girl!” or “ahh that fat girl” or in this case, “that KALU (means black) girl”. It's something we need to make people understand and I think it will take time. But at least if more people speak up, maybe there is a chance that girls would stop feeling so down and less beautiful just because she isn't lighter skinned. What I wish for everyone is that they should feel that they are beautiful and that can be with or without makeup. But just feeling beautiful is a great feeling and I hope one day you'd feel like that about yourself.
Self-esteem and Its Importance
In closing I'd like to say that I believe everyone is beautiful in their own way, but you just need to try. I don't wake up in the morning and look all glammed up - I get my eye brows done, wax my legs, do my nails, take care of my hair, exfoliate my face and I put on makeup etc. So, don't feel the pressure to change the color you are born with because that is not the only thing what makes you beautiful. Everyone should know what is nice for them and what helps them look their best in any skin tone. So, for everyone who likes natural beauty and don't like makeup that's fine too. Yet, I also want to say to my girls out there who like a bold lip or eyes or both and a heavy contour, all of that can power you as well. If it makes you happy, you should go for it because it doesn't hurt anyone else. I'm a firm believer of that.