Dark, Lovely, and South Asian
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About the author
I couldn’t find any space online that celebrate positive images of dark-skinned South Asians so I created one. This is also a space to celebrate the South Asian diaspora and people of Indo-Caribbean descent who also face colorism. Audre Lorde said, “If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive.” I refuse to be crunched into other people’s dehumanizing fantasies about me. I refuse to be eaten alive. I am a dark-skinned South Asian who needs to see representations that reflect me. Here are images, voices and stories that document I am not alone.
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August 6, 2012
Growing up as the darkest granddaughter was very annoying. My family’s comments still continue. I grew up hating my complexion. I remember covering my face with baby powder as a kid, so I could be ‘white’, and then playing with my mom’s makeup. It wasn’t until my early 20s when 1 of my non-South Asian friends said “you have the perfect color” to me, that I realized that being “dark” could be pretty. Then I dated someone who would remind me very often of how beautiful my brown was. Over the years I have come to love my brown skin, and I am thankful for it. My complexion is a combination of natural selection and genetics, what could be more special?
I was born/raised in NYC, and I went to India (South) for the first time this year. I blended in there in a way I never expected. I felt proud of my ancestry, and even more proud of my skin. This summer was the first summer I did not hide out from the sun.
I am a dance teacher to many little South Asian girls, and I encourage them to love themselves for who they are. I embrace each of their unique beauties, and all I hope for is that they will too.
Thank you for making a place for us to share our stories.
-Sonya Devi, NYC
Filed under dark lovely and south asian dark-skinned South Asian diaspora South Asian beautiful lovely India submission
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