When I was a kid, I always associated beauty with something positive and thought everyone was beautiful in their own way. When I grew older, this belief never changed, be it the school that I went to, the bunch of friends that I had and my lovely family, everyone made me feel that I was unique in my own way.
Later on when I started meeting new people, I realised that beauty was so much different from what I thought to be. For a majority of the society, the concept of beauty is still narrowed down to just fair complexion and flawless skin. There was a phase when even I was devoured by this scary obsession which made me insecure and in fact made me scared to be in my own skin. Micro dermabration, derma roller, chemical peels and I started associating beauty with "pain", I started believing that to be beautiful you have to undergo pain and at the end you don't feel beautiful, you just get tired of not being you.
That's when someone shared this with me "In a country where 90% of people are dark it is sad that we grow up with such inferiority complex about it" (*Nandita Das) which made me realise its the obsession that is wrong and not you. We all grow up hearing that "beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder" but now I really don't agree with it, beauty lies within you, beauty lies within everyone irrespective of your skin tone. Like how they say in kung fun panda "To make something special, you just have to believe it's special."
It doesn't really end there, you go through the same cycle once your baby is born too. I had to listen to people say that our little boy didn't get his dad's fair complexion (oh yes we had a moment of silence for the lost "fair skin legacy" :)), was asked to use oil with turmeric in it so that our darling will get a fair complexion, when I acted oblivious to all this I finally heard "at least it is OK as it's a baby boy, what would you have done if it was a baby girl without a fair complexion?!!"
Next time someone comments about your skin tone or your baby's, don't think twice, just eat them up or let loose the mama bear in you! :)