Grab the chai, this is an interesting one.
So, I went to the Hunstanton beach located in Norfolk with my family recently. The beach is honestly beautiful and the weather was so lovely. However, sometimes I would get those odd stares and comments which did make me uncomfortable. I think people forget that staring for too long is rude. To a certain extent, I understand but there is a fine line. There was a guy who walked past us and goes "there are too many foreign people around here" and it apparently ruined his day.
From that day on the beach, I thought about how many times this had happened to me or my family. I've realised we can not go ANYWHERE without somebody looking at us weird.
I would have thought brown skin would not faze people nowadays but that's not the case. To be honest, I am so use to it and normalised it as I grew older but I realised recently that it is not okay. I feel as if there is nothing I can do and I just have to just take it in. I have been told few times "Nish it is okay and people don't understand" or "Nish ignore them". Because "Nish its normal you know as there is not much brown people around here" and I am quite tired of hearing this. Make the effort to understand me and my skin colour and culture even. Make the effort to understand I am different than you and that is okay because I am okay with how you are.
WHY are we taught to just sit there and let them judge us?
Just so we can be the better person?
WHY do we need to ignore them?
Just so we don't get in trouble?
WHY don't they get in trouble?
I remember my trip to Bangladesh when I was 18 and the treatment of skin colour was so shocking to me. All I saw on big billboards was fair & lovely because being fair skin is great and brown is not? Does society suck or do we? I remember thinking this is not okay and we should not be normalising this but we are, unfortunately. If our culture, our communities are normalising that whitening your skin is okay, what does that exactly mean for us? I remember being told that using turmeric on your face just before your wedding day will make your skin whiter. Why would I want that? I was taught that women must do this in order to look beautiful. Is this tradition or backwashed society? What I did not understand is why the woman must be white in skin but the man does not? There are women bleaching their skin and damaging not only their mental health but their image just to be fair which is upsetting.
Don't make women feel like they have to change themselves just to be accepted in society or just to be accepted in general.
I don't think we realise the little things women in our culture are told to do in order to make our skins look whiter in complexion. It starts from using products such as fair & lovely which kills confidence in women and therefore, not appreciating their skin colour or themselves.
So in the end, are we listening? The roots of colourism is deep within the community and still very much in the mainstream. We can talk about how the white supremacy planted this seed of colourism therefore, it had been watered within our community which does make sense and I can also give you a whole history lesson on this but I rather not. We know it exist and it still happens.
I think the one thing we can do right now is just educate those around us and that means having those conversations which means no fighting, arguing or proving yourself right because that does not get anywhere. We still have to remind ourselves that people are ignorant and the most we can do is talk to people and understand what makes them think the way they do. But also, we have a right to not agree with them and stick to our own values and beliefs.
That's the chai for today.