I Am Thin, Dark (And Against Racism.)
Being a skinny and dark complexioned person, I have been getting different types of comments since childhood. I am sure many of you must have read posts relating to this topic. But I have to write about it because I have survived through constant nagging and have got some extra points here about which many of you wouldn’t know. Besides, I must say, this kind of thing is very very common in this part of the country.
People who are stout crave to become slim. What many people don’t know is that, there are thin people who crave to put on some weight. The other day, my sister and I were saying how lucky we were. We could eat anything in any amount and not grow fat. But there are some sadists around me who keep pointing out that I am ‘unfortunate’ to be thin (and dark complexioned). Well, mostly, they are called relatives! So invariably, after every family get together, I reach home dead depressed about how ugly I look. But soon, I am back to being happy about myself again. Hmm… where do I begin? 😛
Let us start with the complexion part;
1. Black cat: The term has an entirely different meaning and I am not a cat. Even my hair doesn’t qualify as black and there is a lot of difference between my skin color and hair color. So the term doesn’t make any sense to me. At school, I used to get it often anyway.
2. Dark=Ugly: At school, children must be educated about racism and how wrong it is. I never had any friends because of my complexion. I was never included in dance teams. I was the last person they wanted in their group activities. I love dancing! On my birthday, if I didn’t have extra chocolates to give to the class bullies, I was called ‘Ugly’ by the entire class. The power of the bully. And disadvantage of being dark colored. Dark=Ugly was the concept.
Image courtesy: Huffington post
3. Farfetched comments: The comment haunts me even now. My family are lot fair complexioned than me. In my 12th class, I showed a family picture to my classmates. I always got the, ‘Why do you alone look dark?’ question. I was made that way. In my family, I am similar to a dark complexioned cousin whose family is fair too. So guess the answer is, we have some extra melanin.
But I was dumbstruck when I was asked, ‘Your family looks like Gods and why do you look like you have been picked up from the dustbin?’ *laughter*. I just smiled. It was very hard.
4. It doesn’t suit her: My music teacher had got similar color dresses stitched for the entire group. We all wore it and she was looking at each of us. When she saw me, she said, ‘I don’t get it. The dress suits everybody. I don’t know why it doesn’t suit her.’ I avoided all the faces around me.
5. Why do you look like this?: There is one relative of mine who keeps bugging me whenever she sees me. I had made a reference to her in this post. She looks at me like the lowliest of creatures and tells, ‘Why are you like this? Why don’t you eat anything? You and your sister wears the same size clothes? Have you any shame?’ and that goes on.
Really? We are glad we could exchange our wardrobes!It means extra clothes! 😀
6. Choose your colors wisely: I hear this often and think, *I pick the colors I love!*
7. Don’t fly away: Hey! Hold onto a pole. The wind is strong. You may fly away.
*10th century joke. Got anything new?*
8. Can you smile? I can’t see you: Can you get lost? I can’t bear your non-sense.
9. I have become dark: Well, fair people who seem a bit tanned tell me this. 😀 What do they expect me to answer?
‘Ohh that’s sad!?’ :O The irony of it!
10. She’s beautiful, but dark: When someone tells me this, about another person, I can’t help but think, *You schmuck! I am dark and I hate when you use ‘but’ before it. Get your racist mind straightened out first.*
11. Invisible treatment: My sister and I walk into a gathering of mom’s colleagues and people come to my sister, ‘Hey! Are you the elder daughter doing CA?’
My sis: ‘Er… no I am the younger one. She is my elder sister.’
‘Oh Hello’, a mere acknowledgement, a nod and I’m deemed invisible. Mom’s friends who know me since I was a child, come, talk to me and treat me as a person. Else, I get this treatment. Well, it is way better than a family gathering. Atleast, I am not criticised based on my looks.
Now for the thin part;
12. Comments on photos: Relatives don’t spare me on FB either. ‘You have to wear longer sleeves so you look a bit fat.’
I don’t want to look fat.
13. You have become thin: The same person sees me every 2 months and says, ‘What happened to you? You have become thin.’ or ‘You have become darker’. Trust me, if every time they saw me, I had grown thinner or darker, I’d be INVISIBLE NOW! 😮
14. Eat this, eat that:
She:Eat curd *I love it. In fact I have a cup of lassi whenever possible*
She: Eat vegetables *Avial is my favorite dish.*
She: Eat lots of food.
My mom: She eats a lot.
She: No, she doesn’t.
* You haven’t even seen me eating you dumbhead!*
15. Eat Panchajeeraka gudam:
If you needed stupid treatments for nothing, I’d suggest you to go admit yourself in a mental hospital! I do not want products that promote racism!
16. The marriage proposal (Best for last): My aunt is bent on getting me married and kept searching for dark toned guys. I am not bothered about the complexion. But the fact that she spoke like I didn’t ‘deserve’ fair skinned partner, bothered me. They talk like it is a ‘privilege’ to marry fair skinned guys and I am ‘deprived’ of it.
I asked my mom, ‘Why does she search only for dark skinned guys? what if there is a fair skinned guy who is compatible with my character who doesn’t mind marrying a dark girl?’
The accusing reply the aunt gave was, ‘Well, she isn’t fair. So how can she expect to get a fair guy?’
I was dumbstruck listening to this madness. First of all, I wasn’t dying to get married. On top of it, I’m reprimanded for how I look!
I used to get really pissed off and depressed when I heard these comments. I ignored some, I brooded over some, few of them still haunt me. But all the same, I love myself. I grew to learn that there are people who would do anything to be like me. I met people who thought beyond the narrow-minded racist crap. Who told me I looked beautiful when I did. As long as I am away from my relatives, I don’t have to bother much about how I look. Probably, it is the medieval Indian mentality. When fairness creams and ayurvedic products bang the TV screens, what other idea should the TV addicted Indians get?
There is one request I would like to make. Insulting someone at the cost of their looks, may amuse you. They may laugh it off. But at one point or another, it affects them. It brings down their self confidence. Everyone need not get a lift like I did. You don’t have to flatter anyone unnecessarily. But think before passing any kind of racist comments. Even your ‘if’s and ‘but’s could make awry statements.