“I spent far too many summers inside and out of the sunlight. There were summers where I didn’t go swimming at all. I constantly tried out many face masks and skin bleaching products. I thought something was wrong with me. I edited pictures of myself to make me look lighter, just so I could be pretty. I hated taking pictures at night and avoided wearing bright colors at all costs. There was time when it got so bad, that I hated even looking in the mirror or would start crying while getting ready for school. I would even try to physically scratch the dark from my face. Yeah, it was pretty bad..”
When 16-year-old Aswathi Thomas, decided to write about colourism – an issue that is dear to her – on her blog, little did she expect that the piece would go viral. Today, her post – ‘I’m Indian, I’m Dark, And I Don’t Care’ has over 100,000 reads and her site has been visited by people from more than 75 countries.
Aswathi, who was born to Malayalee parents, has lived in Texas, US, her whole life. Growing up, she learned to love India’s powerful history and its glorious culture. She is also an admirer of the lipsmacking cuisine. Despite her love for the country, Aswathi has not been oblivious to the cultural flaws either.