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Is beauty just skin deep?

A letter to society from a dusky girl

Gulf News

Dear Society,

I feel it’s about time that I put across my thoughts and feelings to you because honestly, I feel tired, exhausted and drained out. I’m done trying to meet your beauty standards. I think I’ve been trying extremely hard to fit in and match up to them, since forever. No more.

Ever since I was a child, I was made to feel ugly just because I’m not fair skinned. Maybe you don’t know and you don’t care but there have been times when I’ve felt miserable about myself. Do you even know that I’ve bought countless fairness creams hoping that it would help? I think I’ve fallen for those silly fairness products and those advertisements an endless number of times in vain. Nothing really helped, I’m still the same. My complexion is dusky and you know what, now I’m comfortable in my own skin.

You, who shamelessly set beauty standards, told me that a girl whose complexion is dusky cannot be beautiful and I was foolish enough to have believed it. I’ve grown up believing that I need to be fair to look beautiful, and trust me when I say that I’ve tried hard to fit in and have longed to be considered beautiful. Every time I looked at myself in the mirror, I wished I was fair skinned. But no more.

The society is shallow enough to set absurd standards but I will not be foolish enough to follow them anymore. What we fail to understand is this that beauty isn’t skin deep and your skin tone has absolutely nothing to do with beauty. I only wish that we were sensible enough to give importance to being a beautiful human being rather than setting beauty standards for women.

I’m sure there are many like me who have been made to feel ugly because of their skin tone. Girls! It’s time to break these superficial boundaries. Let’s strive to become better human beings and strong women. Let’s not waste our time trying to meet such shallow standards.

Much love,

Another dusky girl

- The reader is a student based in the UAE