#Lightgirls - Colourism?

So this is something that really, and I mean REALLY, bothers me.
Colourism. Heard of it?
It is something that is very common in Asian and African countries. 
Its where someone in your own 'community' can disrespect or look down on you for being a darker skin shade. 
Yes, this is a thing. Its a very horrible and demeaning experience. I've been affected by it and I've over come so much bullshit regarding it, that I think its time I brought this to light... especially after the trend #Lightgirls was in second place, world wide, for a whole day.


Let me begin telling you a little about my background - I'm South Asian, which covers India and Sri Lanka. Naturally, yes, the more south you go from the equator the dark your skin colour gets.  So yes I'm quite 'tanned'. However the ladies in my family are quite light skinned, the men (because they're Men) are dark skinned. I picked up most of my genetic traits from my dad. My mum, always saying, "You've got your dad's big eyes...but you've also got his skin colour".
A genuinely one liner from my mum.
How certain countries portray their women in the media to their public and other countries.

In India a beauty of a young women is mainly seen and you're whole family can be judged in that way. Pretty deep. There is a booming business of skin lightning, bleaching products and treatments that can be found, not just in Asian and African countries, but they are also now becoming widely available in western countries. Shops, as local as your nearest Superdrug, selling skin bleaching products, that says it can lighten your skin up to 3 shades lighter. It genuinely scares me how many women out there have therapy or bleach their skin and damage their skins just to look lighter! A lighter skinned girl is more respected, they receive more attention and help from people in these countries. That is what is followed and believed. That is prejudice and just plain rude I think.
 I'm not going to be shy and beat around the bush: If you are lighter skinned, you are respected to levels unimaginable in India. Why this is the case I will never know, I have never understood this mind set of some people.

My colourism experience.

From a young age, I remember sitting in the front room with a face mask on my face watching the Disney channel. Now at my ripe age of 20, I realise what the reasons were. They were 'natural skin lightning face masks'. My mum wanted me to get a lighter skin tone.
Being that young I never really understood and went along with it. Once I hit secondary school and puberty took over, I become quite tom boyish and refused any sort of pampering. So face masks were out of the window.
My mum would constantly compare mine and my brother skin tones; "Even he's lighter then you! pull it together Priya!" and my brother would use it has a way to taunt me; "HA, Priya is dark, Priya is dark!".
Yes, It bothered me. A lot. I was hurt. When I joined sixth form I became very concious of the way I looked and began taking pride in my appearance a lot more, but I also realised: "This is my skin...why am I ashamed? I'm Asian, we're darker, more tanned" 


I visited some extended family in India, and this was the first time I was seeing them after almost 10 years, so this was exciting and almost nerve-racking. I remember walking into the room and my grandmother, my uncle, aunt and my 2 cousins were there. We greeted, hugged, cried and after all the natter, they began talking about my cousins wedding and about her bridal arrangements. At that very moment my aunty turned to me and said "Your Priya has beautiful features. Shame she's dark". Yes. That happened. Still thinking about it now angers me beyond belief. SHAME SHE'S DARK?! And this was the rest of my trip in India was like. When people looked at my photos from prom or me showing them pictures of England, their only comment was "You look quite dark in this picture, increase the brightness". THEY SAID NOTHING ABOUT MY DRESS OR THE SCENERY. I am also incredibly gutted to say that, while I was at my cousins wedding there were people rolling their eyes at me and saying "She's suppose to be from the UK...sure", LIKE, dude, I'm not going to be the colour of snow just because I live in the UK.


This is a picture of me and my god daughter. She is the cutest, most sassiest and talented little girl and I'm very proud of her. But there has been various times where I've heard my grandmother say to her after she's come in from school and running around, "Go wash your face, you've been in the sun, you don't want to get dark".... SAY WHAT.

This is my personal experience of what is called 'Colourism', I wanted everyone to be aware that this is a real issue. Its not racism. Its called being ashamed of something that you are or have. I am proud of my skin colour. I went to Malia, tanned and got darker! It happens when you're in the sun! Its natural! I'm not ashamed!

This goes out to every coloured women out there who may be in the same situation has I was:
Its a skin colour. Everyone is a different shade. Doesn't matter if you don't find that perfect foundation colour, doesn't matter if you think a certain colour of clothing doesn't suit you because of your complexion, it just does not matter, because YOU are beautiful and if you OWN the skin you have and embrace it, then there isn't going to be a problem and your beauty will glow from inside. It makes you feel like shit and no one deserves that feeling, especially for something we should all be proud of! 

To anyone that has never had this experience before or have just heard about it...now you know and thank you so so much for taking time in reading this.






2 comments

  1. I absolutely love this post! Girl, you beautiful and amazing how you proud of yourself! You definitely should! I have friends with many skin tones and I never look at them differently because of that. They even more unique and amazing for me!

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    Replies
    1. Almost a year later I'm replying to you! thank you so much! The issue has once again come to light, have a look at gal-dem.com! It's such a scary thought that WoC still want to lighten their skin :(

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