As A Indian, I Am Proud Of My Dark Skin Because There Are Different Ways To Be Beautiful

As A Indian, I Am Proud Of My Dark Skin Because There Are Different Ways To Be Beautiful

I am the color of chocolate bars that melt in the summer sun and of pure, maple syrup drizzled onto pancakes, not of dirt. It cannot be scrubbed away by Fair and Lovely creams or lightened, and it shouldn't be.

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Every couple of years, I go to India to visit my family. I remember one of the first times I visited, going from house to house to meet relatives and eat sweets and swat away mosquitoes in the sweltering heat, when I heard it for the first time. A relative whose name I can't remember but whose voice remained seared in my mind: "Your skin is so dark. You should use Fair And Lovely."

I didn't understand what she was trying to say, but my elementary school mind pieced together the words the best they could. To be fair was to be lovely, and to be dark was a dreaded curse, a corruption, like rust on a once silver bike. Except, it wasn't rust. I always had this skin — this dark skin.

As the months went by, I began to understand what she wanted to say: to be dark was to be ugly.

People avoid the word with backhanded compliments and well-intended yet all the while misguided comments: "You look nice for a dark girl. You would look better if your skin was lighter, lighter, brighter..." And as the years went by, they didn't have to say these comments anymore; I began to say them myself. "You'd be prettier if you were light" became "I'd be prettier if I were light".

Their voices of "concern" became my voice of insecurity.

I began to see myself by the words of others until eventually, they became my own words — the most toxic poison of them all. You can fight the world, but can you fight yourself?

It's taken me years to forget the colorist notions ingrained into my psyche. I still reflexively choose filters that lighten my skin in pictures before stopping myself, trying to remember that my skin is the color of chocolate and not dirt. I still avoid bright colors in fear that my skin will look darker before reminding myself that darker not does mean uglier, that beauty is multidimensional.

I had to say it multiple times, like Dorothy and her shoes, for it to become real. Darker does not mean uglier, does not mean uglier, does not mean uglier, does not mean uglier.

I had new words seared into my mind — words that finally weren't painful to hear. I began to see my skin as it was, rather than what it "should" be. It may have acne. It may be dark. It may be flawed. It may even be unattractive. But the most important thing is that it is my face, and I'm tired of hating it.

I am the color of chocolate bars that melt in the summer sun and of pure, maple syrup drizzled onto pancakes, not of dirt. It cannot be scrubbed away by Fair and Lovely creams or lightened, and it shouldn't be.

I see myself now, and it's a lovely thing, to be seen.

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20 Small Tattoos With Big Meanings

Tattoos with meaning you can't deny.
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It's tough to find perfect tattoos with meaning.

You probably want something permanent on your body to mean something deeply, but how do you choose a tattoo that will still be significant in 5, 10, 15, or 50 years? Over time, tattoos have lost much of their stigma and many people consider them a form of art, but it's still possible to get a tattoo you regret.

So here are 20 tattoos you can't go wrong with. Each tattoo has its own unique meaning, but don't blame me if you still have to deal with questions that everyone with a tattoo is tired of hearing!

SEE RELATED: "Please Stop Asking What My Tattoos Mean"

1. A semi-colon indicates a pause in a sentence but does not end. Sometimes it seems like you may have stopped, but you choose to continue on.


2. "A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor."


3. Top symbol: unclosed delta symbol which represents open to change. Bottom symbol: strategy.


4. "There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls."


5. Viking symbol meaning "create your own reality."


6.Greek symbol of Inguz: where there's a will, there's a way.

7. Psalm 18:33 "He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights."


8. 'Ohm' tattoo that represents 4 different states of consciousness and a world of illusion: waking (jagrat), dreaming (swapna), deep sleep (sushupti), transcendental state (turiya) and world of illusion (maya)


9. Alchemy: symbolizes copper, means love, balance, feminine beauty and artistic creativity.


10. The Greek word “Meraki" means to do something with soul, passion, love and creativity or to put yourself in to whatever you do.


11. Malin (Skövde, Sweden) – you have to face setbacks to be able to go forward.

12. Symbol meaning "thief" from the Hobbit. It was the rune Gandalf etched into Bilbo's door so the dwarves could find his house.


13. “Lux in tenebris" means “light in darkness."

14. Anchor Tattoo: symbolizing strength & stability, something (or someone) who holds you in place, and provides you the strength to hold on no matter how rough things get.

15."Ad Maiora" is translated literally as “Towards greater things." It is a formula of greeting used to wish more success in life, career or love.


16. A glyphs means “explore." It was meant as a reminder for me to never stop exploring.

17. "Aut inveniam viam aut faciam," meaning roughly, "Either I shall find a way, or I will make one."


18. Lotus Flower. It grows in muddy water, and it is this environment that gives forth the flower's first and most literal meaning: rising and blooming above the murk to achieve enlightenment.

19. The zen (or ensō) circle to me represents enlightenment, the universe & the strength we all have inside of us.

20. Two meanings. The moon affirms life. It looks as if it is constantly changing. Can reminds us of the inconsistency of life. It is also symbolizes the continuous circular nature of time and even karma.


SEE ALSO: Sorry That You're Offended, But I Won't Apologize For My Tattoos


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I Turned My Old Pair Of Leggings Into A Shirt!

Turning your old clothes into something that you can wear everyday!

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Have you ever found yourself going through your closet, searching through endless amounts of clothes only to find that you actually have nothing to wear?

Well, that is me all the time.

I feel like I struggle constantly to find something that will me "good". I always watch on Instagram, Facebook, and even Snapchat about videos of people transforming their old clothes into something fun and trendy. Let's rewind the story a little bit to last Thursday:

My usual plans for Thursday are school and then coaching color guard; last Thursday we did not have guard so I had a free night. What to do with my time? Then the idea hit me:

THE MALL.

My heart was full of excitement, but my wallet was trembling in fear; especially when it came to Charlotte Russe. In there, I feel like I can spend hours in there just trying on different clothes. So of course, my wallet is still trembling and telling me to just pick ONE thing. And so I did, a little white dress with spaghetti straps.

Flash forward to that Saturday:

After a LOOOOONG day of work, I get home to get ready to go out with one of my best friends. She is sending me pictures of what she's going to wear, while I am trying to figure our what I should wear with my new dress. It's about twenty-six degrees out, and I don't want to be freezing the whole night.

Eventually, my friend tells me to wear a black long sleeve shirt. The only problem with this is that the only shirts I have like that are v-neck, and when I did try on the dress with the shirt; it did not look cute at all. at this point, I am laying on a pile of clothes knowing that I only have a little bit of time to get ready. I am frustrated and angry.

Why does everything look terrible?

Then, in a pile that is supposed to be donated, I find a pair of all black fleece leggings. Another light bulb went off: Make it into a shirt! I had seen soo many videos of people doing it and the "shirts" looking really cute, but at the same time, I felt like I would totally screw it up.

Just send it.

That phrase kept popping in my mind, and so I finally sent it. The "shirt" actually came out really well! my outfit looked cute and people kept telling me how adorable it was! Plus, the fleece leggings did keep me warm in the chilly night.

Overall, I feel like some of the DIY videos you see are sketchy, but the leggings are a for sure go to!

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