Living As "Kali" Has Taught Me One Thing: Society Is Cruel

Anonymous Anonymous in Bakkar. Chai. Sutta on 15 July, 2017

“Mirror mirror on the wall,

Who is the fairest of them all?”

We’ve all heard this story from our childhood, of the beautiful maiden, with skin as white as snow.

Sadly, instead of just learning not to accept fruits from strange women, our society also picked up the notion that beauty came only from fair skin.
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Being born dusky to lighter-skinned parents, I’ve always been mocked because of the color of my skin.

Nicknames like Kali were extremely common.

Even as a child, my relatives were concerned about how I was going to find a good husband.

I tried to ask them what the color of skin had to do with love: I thought the heart didn’t understand things like this.

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As I grew older, I began experimenting with all sorts of skin lightening products and took advice from everyone around for their home remedies.

Every time I washed my face after using them, I hoped that my skin would turn one shade lighter.

Unfortunately, that change never came.

All these products I was using, just left a big hole in my pocket and I decided to stop abusing my skin with these chemicals.
Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t hate the color of my skin, I just despised the way people felt about it.

We live in a time where women have achieved more than they ever have, historically. Sadly, the first criteria on anyone’s checklist, looking for a wife or a daughter in law, is that she should be fair.
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Even if one’s son is dark, his mother would expect a beautiful, fair daughter-in-law: one whose skin was as white as snow.

Girls like me, well, we’ve been told that we simply have to adjust and compromise with anyone who says ‘Yes’.

Is this just?

I’ve always read about the color black: black denim, black nail polish, black t-shirts and sweaters and everything else you can think of, but god forbid a girl should have dark skin.

We worship dusky gods and tall, dark and handsome men, but why can’t we accept a dark bride?

Beauty isn’t about having a pretty face or a light complexion: it’s about having a pretty soul and a beautiful heart.

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Nothing makes a woman more beautiful than the belief within herself that she’s beautiful.

The day she succumbs to cosmetics and chemical products, society with this backward ideology wins.
Author's Note:

Everyone is beautiful in their own unique way. And no one has the right to make us feel inadequate. And to the aunties who thought I would never get married, my loving husband has the perfect answer: beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.