When my life was darker than the colour of my skin tone

Updated: Sep 26, 2020

Story By: Anonymous

My story is probably not about a very grave issue, but I know that it has impacted me and my personality so much that, even after 32 years, I am still trying to come out of it. I have a dark brown complexion, and I have lived my entire childhood being reminded that I am ugly by - my parents, grandparents, cousins, uncles, aunts, class mates and practically everyone around me.

There is a day which I particularly remember. I was 12. We had to go to a wedding. My father said, “You are hideous. Don’t call me Father in front of everyone there.” My mother heard this and took me to a beauty parlour. She instructed the parlour lady was to make me “beautiful”. She said “this will need a lot of work,” and started layering on my face. I don’t remember if I looked beautiful but I didn’t sleep at all that night.

Another day, I was going somewhere with my mother, in a cycle rickshaw. A crow swooped too low and almost hit me, I ducked to save myself from getting pecked on. My mother exclaimed, “you are so ugly, even crows kick on your face.” I left home right after school ended, I was only 18 then. I am 32 now. I still remember the humiliation I faced every day for those 18 years.

I can’t look into people’s eyes, because I fear seeing only disgust and rejection. Till now, I think twice before believing anyone who gives me a compliment. I spend hours before deciding on a colour to wear because once, I was made to believe no colour suits me.

Over the years, I have come across people who have put faith in me, who have made me believe in myself, that I am talented and beautiful. I just regret that the people who belong in my innermost circle, are not my family or my schoolmates. I met them in later years, when the damage had already been done to somewhat an irreversible extent. I think I am fine now, infact I am much better, but there is a long way to go.

This is the first time I have poured my heart out on a piece of paper. I hope I didn’t take a lot of your time.

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