Let's face it -- I wouldn't exactly say I fit into the standard-run-of-the-mill-new-england-girl-with-a-white-picket-fence-around-her-home criteria; We can thank my immigrant parents for that.
But with time, I've learned not only to accept my South Asian culture but also to embrace it as a major part of me. Becoming comfortable with not only who you are, but where your roots come from takes a whole lotta patience and a whole lotta self-love.
Luckily, I have a few role models to remind me whenever I find myself doubting the beauty in my brown skin.
Hamel has been recently delving into her own photo series called MONOCHROME which was inspired by, quote, "those who said we couldn't wear certain colors because of our skin tone, that we wouldn't be able to "pull it off.'" You can find her monochromatic makeup/fashion looks with a desi twist on her Instagram page. So far in the series, she has made looks encompassing the colors purple, pink, red, brown, orange, and yellow.
Sarvani keeps up with the latest Western fashion looks, all while maintaining her love for Odissi dance, an ancient classical Indian dance that originated from the Hindu temples of Odisha. She claims she feels "most confident when [she's] in costume," referring to the traditional garb she wears for her culture and/or dance. She's been featured in the @colourpopcosmetics x @karrueche makeup trailer, and has a fond adoration for all things snakes.
One look at Rowi's page, and you can truly see why her bio states "The inner workings of my mind." Rowi bends all the traditional rules of makeup, using it as an art form, rather than a means of covering up. Her looks involve a multitude of colors, artistic concepts, and of course, bindis, which are decorative marks, typically made of gemstones or color that are worn on the forehead of Indian women.
Simran is coveted for her killer fashion taste, and unbelievable modeling work in magazines. She just recently took part in an @asos x @nike #MoreReasonsToMove campaign, and has also been the muse behind @esteelaudercompanies cross-brand beauty editorial. With Simran's platform, not only does she promote style positivity, but she also does so in a way that also includes her fellow brown skinned fans
It's hard to tell whether you can consider Mishti's style as 'sweet' or 'sexy' but in my opinion, it's the combination of both that really makes her shine. Breaking traditional boundaries of body image and clothing is what makes Mishti stand out from the rest. Her sense of fashion changes upon the day which makes her one of my top picks for outfit inspiration.
A New York Times Best Seller of a poetry book titled, "milk and honey," Rupi went above and beyond in her writing journey to teach her audience about self acceptance and feminism. There aren't many brown girls in the writing industry who have been nearly as successful as she has been. She has done a multitude of tours, book signings, readings, and has even released a second book titled, "the sun and her flowers." She is currently releasing hand-painted canvas art pieces depicting her art and poetry.
Founder of @HudaBeauty, Huda turned her beauty blogging into a beauty brand. Starting off as a blog in 2010, she soon set up a Youtube/Instagram which exploded in an audience. Her growth in media led her to open her very own cosmetics line, HudaBeauty. Her roots come from Iraq and often does Youtube videos in both English and Arabic. Her Instagram page is home to thousands of makeup videos of fans, make-up artists, and herself alike. She believes in supporting fellow artists in her craft, and refers to herself as "MUA & Blogger, turned Business Woman."
Sruthi is BIG on combining her fashion taste with her culture. When she isn't wearing lehengas, sarees, or anarkalis, she's sporting beach-ready fits and killer sunglasses. Sruthi plays heavily on the balance between Eastern and Western culture, always seeming to incorporate a little bit of both in whatever outfit she so pleases to wear. She also speaks upon her insecurity of trying brown hair color because "people made [her] feel like it wouldn't suit [her] complexion," and yet now, her honey-brown locks are a staple feature to her look.