The darkness of my skin shouldn’t become the darkness of my life

It all started from the day I took birth on this beautiful yet ugly planet. On the day I came out of my mother's womb, this is how my relatives showered love on me and my family: "Your daughter would have looked more beautiful if her color was fair." "Your daughter is so hairy." So, people bullied me for my physical traits from the day I was born, except I didn't know that it was bullying.

My elder sister met the beauty standards of society. She had those pretty blue eyes, fair skin and naturally straightened hair. On the other hand, I had hair that I could never leave untied and dusky, dark skin. In short, I didn't turn heads with my beauty. As a result, I grew up with a lot of inferiority complex. No wonder I was an attention seeker during my teenage years.

But, the real struggle started when I got into college. My entire college life became about trying to fit in. I began applying a lot of fairness creams, got my hair artificially straightened and worked out like a pig in the gym, and ended up losing 20 kgs. As a result, I ended up looking like a malnourished patient just out of college. Little did I know that this was a vicious cycle, that I was getting myself into.

The standards of beauty went on escalating and my hope went on declining, and I ultimately gave up. I stopped torturing myself in the gym. I threw away all the face creams. I went out without any makeup. I wasn’t doing any of it, the people and the comments remained the same, but with time I changed. I finally began accepting my body. Gradually, I realized, this was what I was supposed to do years back.

I still get decked up sometimes but it is not because of the societal pressures anymore. Now, I do yoga and follow a fitness regime for a healthy body and mind. People still bully me but I don't care anymore. In fact, now I have started answering them back. Because now, I know that I am beautiful.

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