Embrace your natural self.
As a girl with a brown complexion, I’ve been at the receiving end of many comments like, “Why are you black? Your other family members are fair!” or “No boy’s going to look at you if you don’t do something about your colour.” Even as a 20-something-year-old, these harsh criticisms still keep coming. As a result, I developed a prejudice towards those who were fairer than me. It’s a work-in-progress, but I’m learning to get over this ingrained bias. Over the years I’ve discovered a few ways that’ve helped with the process. If you share similar misgivings and want to know how to get over them, keep reading.
The first thing to remember is that beauty is very subjective.
Everyone has a different idea about what kind of appearance appeals to them. In Sri Lanka, culture and society have placed us girls under a lot of pressure when it comes to physical attributes. From a very young age, we are taught that to be beautiful, we should possess a pale skin, wide hips, long black hair and legs that go on forever. If by chance we lack any of these qualities, we’re immediately put to shame. What you can do to stop your family from getting under your skin, is to accept yourself. Also always know that beauty, really is in the eye of the beholder.
Walk a mile in their shoes.
Darker skinned individuals are an easy target for teasing, so it’s no wonder that later on in life, we begin to dislike our fairer counterparts. Some of these girls have been raised up on a pedestal and have inflated egos to boot. As a result, it becomes quite easy for us to disregard their feelings. However, we must understand that it’s not entirely their fault. It’s quite possible that they’re unaware of our situation and the trials we’ve faced. Who knows, maybe they feel the burden of having to always maintain their creamy texture. They’re also susceptible to skin issues, like sunburns, redness and peeling. They’re human too, ladies.
Communication is key.
Hopefully in time, we will realize that colour shouldn’t be a barrier. After all, beneath our surface, we’re all pretty much the same! We need to learn not to treat each other badly, and instead, open up and talk about this issue. By coming together and sharing our points of view, we might be able to put an end to the ridiculous mindsets of our elders. The truth is, we’re all attractive in our own way, and a simple thing like skin tone, shouldn’t be a cause for conflict.
So, love yourself and what your mamma gave you!
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