Posted on January 24, 2019 at 5:49 pm

Crown the Brown Featured

The Lighter Side of Being Dark Skinned My Entire Life – J. Kassra

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I’ve been dark skinned my entire life

Dark-skinned all my life

I’ve been dark skinned my entire life! Well except for the baby phase where my melanin hadn’t kicked in yet. I suppose those were the pre bonus years. I say bonus due the fact that being fair skinned has always been viewed as better or as a ‘ pro’ in our society. Even in my adulthood I don’t understand this misconception but the truth is it still exists. I’ve heard these phrases many times, “she’s dark but she’s pretty” or “she’s pretty for a dark girl“.

What does this even mean??? Are we as dark skinned women not allowed to be pretty simply due to the amount of melanin we rightfully inherited? If we are dark and still considered as..wait for it..PRETTY does that mean we are unique in some odd way?

Even when I look back on my high school days. I think of the most popular girls or attractive girls. I remember them as being fair skinned. It was almost as if it didn’t even matter how pretty, smart or amazing you were. Because as long as you were all those things wrapped up in dark skin you never stood a chance!

Now let me tell you about this particular fair skinned girl. She didn’t have eyes that popped out and touched your soul. Not one cute dimple or luscious lips or the cutest nose. She was as average as average could possibly get. No beauty magazine features ..BUT..AHA…she was fair skinned! But similarly, in my high school world, that was all that mattered! That one average, plain looking fair skinned girl could bowl over a beautiful dark skinned girl in the school hierarchy ANY day! Why? Simply because she was lighter in complexion.

That’s really what it boiled down to!

Furthermore, we as teenagers never understood this. Even as an adult I still don’t understand. Now before the fair skinned girls jump on this wagon and assume I’m throwing shade ( yes I do realize how ironic that sounded). Let me just say that I am in no way insinuating that fair skinned girls are not beautiful or attractive. I have a long line of fair skinned friends and family who are simply stunning!

If the male population is given a choice of choosing between a good, smart intellectual good looking dark skinned woman or the same type of woman but only average looking and fair skinned woman, Why do the majority of them choose the latter?

I suppose it’s because unintentionally we’ve been fed this hypocrisy our entire lives! I’ve heard mother in laws speak proudly of their potential daughter in laws to relatives only to end it with “only thing she’s dark but“. Beautiful babies entering families with everyone preaching ” lucky she’s fair like her father “. Seriously?

Above all, we dark skinned South Asians TAKE all this verbal abuse. Psychologically, we probably know almost everything that is going to be said and how it’s going to be portrayed. Is it different for men? I don’t know. But, let’s be honest how many times have you heard a female say she would love a tall dark handsome man? Often right? Now how often have you heard a male say his dream woman would be a tall beautiful dark skinned girl?

I suppose the inequality here between being a dark skinned male versus being a dark skinned woman is obvious!

I think the most hilarious moment of my life was already being a dark skinned woman at 8 months pregnant and having a relative tell me “baby is making you dark huh“. Dark as compared to what? She continued to suggest that I was probably having a girl baby due to the fact that my colour and beauty was fading. Insinuating the baby girl was taking away my features.

Ironically, I ended up giving birth to a bouncing baby boy ! Now here’s were my story comes into full circle. Being dark skinned my entire life. Apparently almost getting darker during my pregnancy. My dear son, who is 5 years old now, is probably the fairest little boy in the land! On a daily basis, I walk around silently shouting at people ” No, I’m not his nanny or his aunt! I am his biological mother!”.

Seems like, life can sometimes be both ironical and hilarious. It’s just really important that we don’t pass this misconception to future generations! Beauty comes in all shades. Love yourself! Love your shade! Don’t let society tell you which shade is superior!

-J. Kassra

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