Activist Shaniera Akram, took to Instagram today, to give an insight into the insecurities related to skin colour. She explained that as a white woman, she was born with fair skin and along with many of her white friends, she wished for darker skin just like Pakistanis wish for a lighter complexion.
â€œWe would go to any length to change the colour of white to brown because that is what was instilled in our minds, that brown was more beautiful,â€ she wrote.
She further talked about the (harmful) methods she along with her friends resorted to, in order to achieve the desired brown look. This included applying harmful oils and sitting under the sun until burnt to crisp, fake tanning under hazardous lights that ran the risk of skin cancers, skin disease, spots and adding years to faces causing wrinkles and irreversible damage. She added that she also used toxic stains, dyes and body paints every day.
â€œAnd I have never tried this but some girls have synthetic hormones injected into their bodies to stimulate the pigment cells that produce melanin and actually change the colour of the skin from white to brown permanently,â€ she added.
The message she tried to send was that just like our society feels pressured into having white skin in order to be accepted under the “white is superior” mentality white people, who have exactly what our society praises, want what we have. Similar to them, desi people resort to hazardous methods to achieve the white look including skin bleaching, hormone injections, the infamous fairness creams and a lot more. Shaniera sends a message about body positivity with her posts, requesting everyone to be happy in their own skin because what they have is what another person is dying to have.
“And just remember, to all the girls with brown skin who want white, you are the envy of half the women on this planet, women and girls all over the world that go to any extremes to have your colour skin, so thatâ€™s got to be something worth enjoying !!!” she concluded.
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To all the girls with brown skin wishing they had white, I just want to let you know that there are a hell of a lot of white girls who grew up wishing they had dark skin too, I know I was one of them. We thought that if our skin was brown we looked healthier, prettier and more attractive to boys. We would go to any length to change the colour of white to brown because that what what was instilled in our minds, that brown was more beautiful. When I was growing up we rubbed harmful oil on our faces and bodies and lay out all day in the harsh UV sun and burn to a crisp, just so that in 3-4 days the red and extremely painful burn would die down and eventually we would have a brown tan! We would also spend hours lying in a solarium which is fake sunlight machine risking skin cancers, skin disease, spots and adding years to our faces causing wrinkles and irreversible damage. And when the sun wasnâ€™t available we would also rub toxic stains and dyes in to our skin everyday to give our skin a 3-5 shades darker sun kissed brown look. We would spend incredible amounts of money to have brown body paint sprayed on our body every week that gets in our hair, clothes and bedsheets, a body paint that is almost like a stain on our skin that doesnâ€™t wash off for days and when it eventually wore off it would leave our skin patchy, streaky and scaley. And I have never tried this but some girls have synthetic hormones injected in to their bodies to stimulate the pigment cells that produce melanin and actually change the colour of the skin from white to brown permanently. What Iâ€™m trying to say is Donâ€™t try and change who you are, be happy underneath your skin, your beauty is interpreted by you, you are beautiful no matter what your skin colour is!! And just remember, to all the girls with brown skin who want white, you are the envy of half the women on this planet, women and girls all over the world that go to any extremes to have your colour skin, so thatâ€™s got to be something worth enjoying !!! #BeYourself #LoveYourself #TheGrassIsNotAlwaysGreener #BeautyIsOnTheInside #NeverJudgeByTheColourOfOnesSkin #WeAllStruggleToFindOurSelvesBeautiful #WhoCaresWhatOurSkinLooksLike
Let’s hope other people take a page out of Shaniera’s book and implement said positivity in their lives. Girl’s should embrace their skin colour no matter what it is, and focus on what they’ve been blessed with. Moreover, it’s about time that society realizes and stops pressuring young girls into feeling inferior about their skin colour.