The more we speak!

Growing up in Dubai, I have always been surrounded by the love and acceptance of my family and friends. My parents have instilled confidence, courage, and passion in my bones, whilst always giving my wings the extra wind that they needed to fly. I was never compared or made to feel inferior because of my darker skin tone – and well, why should I right? That’s what I thought before I was exposed to whitewashed media campaigns and a society that worships lighter and fairer skin; always placing it above every other colour.

Seeing this discrimination being spread to the youth of our nation started to infuriate me. So, I decided to use the voice and values that my parents gave me, to create awareness; that ‘dark is truly beautiful’. This was when I found this powerful campaign that was founded by the ever-inspiring Kavitha Emmanuel and supported by many other mighty women of our country.

Further research helped me realise the cause of this obsession is the oppression and centuries of dominance that we were exposed to under colonialism.

This has inevitably caused us to associate ‘fairness’ with ‘power’. This toxic messaging has been embedded into our beauty, fashion, and film industries to just mention a few- destroying the self-esteem and confidence of countless citizens.

But enough is enough. I urge you today, to knock on the door of that relative, friend, colleague or even acquaintance to start a conversation around their colourist mindset and replace their ignorance with awareness and acceptance. So here is a poem I have written (Instagram handle @thedancingink) to help you and many do the same.

“Dark is beautiful.”

Dark is born black, brown, and bruised,

From the incessant pricks of a prejudice,

That has been scraping away,

At a mirror that is a fighter,

Screaming through its dusty glass- “You’re beautiful”.

Because Dark IS beautiful.

But Dark isn’t used to hearing it,

Seeing it or feeling it.

And so… Dark is hiding.

Hiding behind closed doors,

In a room filled with manmade nurses,

Hired by the next door Aunty’s insecurities,

For its cure.

As if Dark is meant to be cured?

No Aunty. Dark is healthy and beautiful.

And your mother, his mother, my mother,

Their narrow minds were massaged,

By a colonised society that was begging to belong.

They were living in a time,

When anything that was not white was wrong.

But Aunty. Dark is not wrong. Never wrong.

It is right,

Bright and Oh God! It is beautiful!

It does not discriminate between caste and creed,

It is not a visitor you need to greet momentarily,

It is not a blemish your body wears like a sentence,

It is not meant to be or washed or prayed out of me,

Out of him, her, and you. Aunty.

Aunty, YOU, and your Dark is beautiful.

Stop moisturising your trauma on the next generation,

Instead, teach them a language that you never learned,

And then learn that same language in return.

Say it with me.

Dark is Beautiful.

@darkisbeautifulcampaign, @womenofworthindia,,

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Nupur Nair
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