Falling In Love (with me)

"As you can see, I’m a brown, dark skinned Indian girl. As a little girl, I was the darkest amongst my cousins, far from the conventional stereotypes of fair-skinned ‘gorgeousness’. I was too young to realise that the colour of your skin can lead to people defining you as a person. It all triggered in school. The teenage phase where you start becoming aware of most things around you and within you. I realised I wasn’t as fair as most of my friends and assumed not as pretty either. I would be mercilessly teased about my colour being nicknamed “kaali”, “black”. I didn’t like that but never said anything. It was an incident where my mother once asked me to apply sunscreen to protect my skin which I took as a threat to her love. Did she want me to become fair? I was heartbroken. And so started my journey of insecurities & started my mission to become fair. I regularly started visiting a Dermatologist for de-tanning lotions (being athletic in school I would often be in the sun). I was obsessed. Worried about if I’ll ever find love because I’m dark? Will I have dark babies? And so I entered college. A little older but wiser? Maybe just more insecure as men started noticing women more, women started noticing women more & Fair and Lovely had convinced almost half the nation that being fair will sort all of life’s problems. Brown. Funny how such a powerful colour could demotivate me. It angered me. Why did everyone want to be fair? Why does everybody pray for cute, fair babies? Was I not cute? Do my parents not love me because I’m dark?

It’s all about the matters of the mind! With that thought I started to pursue psychology in college and then switched over to fashion design. Both subjects, poles apart, interested me. A few years after college and my first self-filling job I decided it was time for a new chapter. Moving forward with the battles within myself and the colour of my skin came time for university and a want to study further. I wanted to study in New York and so I did. And here’s where began the journey of self-love. While at Parson’s I realised I too am beautiful. Validation from my peers who found the colour of my skin to be exotic and beautiful. I wondered, is brown really beautiful? Then from New York I moved to Los Angeles in hunt for a new job, new opportunities and more validating compliments! It was here that I felt like I could love myself. I saw a change inside me. Dark skin isn’t ugly, I’m not ugly. This journey to begin loving myself had come to a point where I felt my work wasn’t fulfilling enough. I wanted to create something that mixes my passions for design as well as the mind & so I wandered within my head to find that fulfilment.”