It's Time To Get Rid Of Eurocentric Beauty Standards

It's Time To Get Rid Of Eurocentric Beauty Standards And Embrace Individual Physical Appearances

As a young girl, I spent hours googling things like "DIY skin lightening masks" and browsed through hundreds of websites looking for masks I could make with items I had at home.

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Growing up, I was surrounded by Bollywood music, intricately detailed salwar kameezes and lots of curry. I loved everything about Bengali culture. But, growing up Bengali also meant Eurocentric beauty standards were the norm. Fair skin equated to beauty. Being light skinned was considered the number one factor of whether or not a girl is deemed attractive. It felt like the worst thing a girl could be was dark.

In Bengali households, girls are taught that the lighter you are, the prettier, leading to a childhood of insecurities and lack of comfort in my skin. Commercials of bleaching products like Fair & Lovely were advertised constantly on Bengali TV channels. In these advertisements, girls with dark skin were unable to get their dream job or their dream guy, but once they began using Fair & Lovely, and inevitably got lighter, they magically were rewarded with everything they'd ever wanted and more. This standard of beauty was ingrained in my brain and I found it beyond challenging to embrace and love the skin I was in.

As a young girl, I spent hours googling things like "DIY skin lightening masks" and browsed through hundreds of websites looking for masks I could make with items I had at home. I used masks composed of turmeric, milk, and rice flour. I used raw papaya on my face. I tried lemon, cucumber, aloe vera, ANYTHING, that these websites told me would help me become lighter. I even used Fair & Lovely, at only nine years old, in efforts to be a lighter skin tone. I spent days crying, wondering why God had punished me with dark skin. I spent years questioning my beauty and hoping that one day I'd be light skinned. I spent months trying to scrape the darkness off of me. Nothing ever completely worked. I viewed my skin tone as a disease, that I had to get rid of.

In my head, being fair was the epitome of beauty and being dark was synonymous with being ugly. I spent so many summers indoors, so I wouldn't tan. When I did go outside, I made sure to lather my skin in sunscreen and try to cover myself up as much as possible, so that no part of me could get darker than I already was. There were years of aunties exclaiming how kala, dark, I had gotten. My sister and I were even distinguished based on our skin color. She was the shada, light one and I was the kala one. It was horrible to have my insecurities constantly brought up to me as if it was just a simple talking matter.

I wasted so many years, trying to live up to this impossible European standard. I wasted my precious childhood feeling insecure and defeated because of my desire to be lighter. Because of my need to feel beautiful and deep-seated belief that beauty meant being light-skinned, I didn't realize that beauty is so much more than the color of my skin. I was blinded by this so very wrong thought process that I and many Bengali girls have drilled into our heads at a young, influential age. It took years of self-hatred and insecurities, to finally discover that beauty is not, and never will be, defined by Eurocentric beauty standards. This view is problematic and it's time to address this standpoint that South Asian cultures have on skin color.

It's time that us brown girls love the skin that we're in. We have melanin and we should be proud of that. We shouldn't listen to anyone or anything that tells us that being fair means being lovely. No one range of skin tone should ever be deemed beautiful or hideous. Being literally any skin tone is beautiful and we shouldn't be made to feel like only one shade is.

Who said beauty was defined by skin tone and made Eurocentric beauty standards become our perception of attractive? Who said we had to continue to feel uncomfortable in our own skin because we're not light skinned? We have the ability to question what beauty really is and the strength to go beyond years of instilled values and our culture's definition of lovely. We have the ability to redefine beauty. We're all beautiful, regardless of the color of our skin. It's time to break free of the Eurocentric beauty standards holding us back and embrace our exquisiteness and truly love the skin we're in.

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11 Things You Know To Be True If You Have A Big Booty

Yes, I know you like big butts and you cannot lie.
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Having a big butt has its ups and its downs. For example, I love being confident in my body and looking great in the clothes I wear, but finding clothes that actually fit is a problem. With everyone trying to look like a Kardashian, big butts are all the rage, but it's not always all that it's cracked up to be!

1. All bathing suit bottoms are cheeky.

I have to get a pair of bottoms two sizes bigger than I have to get a top. Even when I do that, the bottoms still look cheeky. Imagine what actual cheeky bottoms look like. *blushing emoji*

2. Shorts? Also cheeky.

I love a cute pair of short shorts, but no matter the size, they're just going to ride up. I'll be spending most of the time worrying about pulling my shorts down. Why can't I look cute and be comfortable????

3. Trying to squeeze through a tight area is nearly impossible.

Stomachs can be sucked in when it comes to squeezing through. You can't suck in your butt when your trying to get through. Most of the time, it's like a bull in a china shop that takes out everything and everyone in its path.

4. Shopping for jeans is a nightmare.

People complain that my jeans look painted on, but if I got them any bigger, they'd hang off of my waist. If they fit in the butt, they don't fit in the waist. And the fit in the thighs are a whole different story. You can't have it all.

5. When you finally do get that perfect pair of jeans, this happens.

All I have to say is, UGH!!!

6. THE WEDGIES.

Debatably the biggest con to having a big butt. I have to pick out a wedgie at least twelve times a day. The day I can find a pair of underwear or an outfit that doesn't get lost in my cheeks will be the day I can die happily.

7. People automatically assume you can dance.

Some girls with big butts know how to move them. I am not one of those girls. My butt size and my ability to dance are totally unrelated. I may look like I know how to move, but my lack of coordination and rhythm will tell you a different story.

8. Your butt is always used as a pillow.

I've come to terms with the fact that my butt doubles as a comfy lying place for people's heads. I'm glad that I can be of service.

9. Bodycon dresses are a blessing and a curse.

You definitely have the Kardashian look going on in a bodycon dress, which is a major plus. That is, until you try to bend over or lift your arms at all. Then, you give everyone in the room an all access pass to Flashville. Sorry to all the people who have seen parts of me they might not have wanted to when I've dropped my phone.

10. You know every word to songs about big butts.

From "Baby Got Back" to "Fat Bottomed Girls" to "Bootylicious," lyrics about big butts are so relatable. You can catch me rapping/singing every word when one of these songs come on.


11. How you feel knowing big butts are finally the trend...

My whole life, I wanted to be the skinny girl with the perfect body because that's what everyone thought was beautiful. I spent years hating my body, specifically my butt, because I wasn't shaped like the girls in the magazines. Finally, society accepts girls with bodies like mine and I couldn't be happier! But, what I've learned over the years is that all shapes and sizes are beautiful as long as I'm happy with myself.

It's a blessing and a curse (but mostly, a blessing). IF YOU GOT IT, FLAUNT IT!

Cover Image Credit: Jessica Edwards

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My Hair Journey After Box Bleaching My Hair

Although it may seem cheap and easy, the reality of box bleaching your hair is disastrous. Professionals, this article is dedicated to you.

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nadoty
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In 2017, I made the disastrous decision to box bleach my hair that I am still paying for today.

It seemed cheap, easy, and was something fun I could do at midnight. Little did I know, this would be a choice that I would still be regretting to this day. Besides the awful reality of box bleaching your hair, such as the chemicals in store hair dye already being disastrous for your hair, if you don't know what you're doing you not only run the risk of damaging your hair, having your hair fall out, but could also seriously hurting your scalp.

Follow me on my hair journey over the past two years and use this article to look back on if you're ever bored and in need for a change. Wait to go to a salon!

May 23rd, 2017.

Nichole Doty

I like to call this moment the calm before the storm. Back in 2017, I had long dark hair. I loved my hair and was very proud of how long I grew it. This is the longest my hair had ever been at this point in my life, and I absolutely loved it.

July 31st, 2017.

Nichole Doty

This was the day that everything changed. I made the terrible decision to not only box bleach my hair but to add box pink hair dye on the underneath of it. Not only did it look terrible, but it was also an irreversible decision that was made that I would have to live with for the next few years to come.

August 12th, 2017.

Kasey Bauner, (kasey_bauner via instagram), who works at Jay Marie Salon and Spa in Schereville, was able to save my hair in a beautiful way.

Nichole Doty

HALLELUJAH! My hot mess was fixed! Through hours and hundreds of dollars later spent at the salon, they were able to salvage my hair without shaving all of it off!

December 9th, 2017.

Nichole Doty

A few months later, after some length came in, that's when the roots started to appear. After the first glace at the outgrowth, I knew that I would have to keep chopping my hair until the roots fully grew out.

January 5th, 2018.

Nichole Doty

This was the first big chop I had to do since the box bleach disaster I did to my head. I knew that I didn't want to dye my hair back to its original color, so this began my repetitive cycle of hair growing out, getting a drastic chop, and growing it out again.

July 5th, 2018.

Nichole Doty

In July, my hair started to show more length since I had to originally chop it. My roots were starting to come in the dark so I had to try and wear hairstyles that would discretely cover how much my hair had grown.

August 31st, 2018.

Another big chop when school started in the fall of 2018. There's something so disappointing about having to keep growing out your hair just to chop it, but unfortunately, that's what I signed up for when I got myself into this mess.

November 29th, 2018.

At this point, my roots looked terrible. From the back of my head, the roots were growing towards the middle. I had to keep reminding myself that I couldn't see the back of my head so I could gracefully ignore how terrible it looked. Aside from this awful outgrowth I had going on, the color in my hair was starting to settle into a yellow mess.

January 31st, 2019.

Nichole Doty

As if I didn't learn my lesson from the first time, I started to experiment with different colors. I used the L'Oreal Colorista Semi-Permanent dye. I will say, though, this really is the most Semi-Permanent dye I have ever used as it would fully wash out in two weeks without any traces of color left behind.

April 25th, 2019.

I felt as though if I added different colors to my hair it would make the roots look more natural. As it did, I do NOT recommend the Kiss Tintation hair dye. This was the most patchy dye I have ever used, although I did love the blue.

May 12th, 2019.

Nichole Doty

As of just a few weeks ago, my hair was a big green mess. The dye would not leave my hair, so I started to panic that I really messed up this time. I could no longer wait at this point as I felt the frantic need to chop my hair.

May 23rd, 2019.

Nichole Doty

Here we have it! At the end of my journey thus far, I have managed to almost have all of my natural colors back! Although there are some green strands still left behind, I am mostly back to a full head of hair being the same color.

Overall, I want this article to serve as a warning to those who are like me and don't think through decisions properly. I'm the type of person when I want something I want it at that exact moment no matter what. My rash decision has led to poor self esteem and issues throughout these past two years. Am I being dramatic? Maybe. Maybe I'm like you who feels as though your hair is a big part of your identity and who you are as a person. Thank you for following my hair journey and remember: ALWAYS think through big decisions properly and wait to go to a salon to get your hair done!

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