By Lydia Marsha | A Dark is Beautiful campaigner
“You don’t have to be model to inspire people that dark is beautiful, you can be a role model everyday in your life just by being yourself” – Lydia Marsha
Words can hurt. I get teased for being dark skinned even now, at 25. Relatives do not see how I feel when they compare me with my siblings: “they are Fair and beautiful. You are Dark but beautiful.” It takes a lot of strength to overcome the small, insignificant word like “but.”
I once hated myself so much that I would hurt myself for being born with dark skin. I was ashamed to smile thinking that I might scare people. I had no confidence at all.
It broke my heart when my niece, a beautiful dark skinned child told me that she believes she is not beautiful and that she was being teased in school for being dark skinned.
This prejudice starts at our own homes. My aunt is looking for a fair skinned bride to marry her dark skinned son, primarily for fair progeny. I want this mentality to stop! I want to give the generation to come a chance to be their own judge and jury of beauty!
I enrolled in modeling to inspire dark skinned women especially in Malaysia to be proud of themselves. It is a difficult road for me as dark skinned models are not preferred in Malaysian media industry. But I will live my dream on my terms. I will inspire change!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lydia Marsha is currently completing her B.A. in Professional Communication in Lim Kok Wing University, Malaysia. She is a freelance photographer specialized in children photography. She enjoys reading novels and watching inspirational movies on women’s empowerment.
A special shout-out to photographer Rose Marie from Rosiegraphie. Thanks, Rosie, for the great pics!
– Dark is Beautiful Team
By Sai Tharshini Varathan | A Dark is Beautiful Campaigner
I come from the wonderful and multicultural land of Malaysia. Malaysia is filled with diverse people that are generally friendly. But often, I get to hear a lot of painfully discriminatory comments because of my skin colour, I used to feel hurt and wondered what was so wrong in being dark?
I was once told to go to the temple and pray for a new face; to ask the Goddess for a better and fairer complexion. Of everything I have been told about my skin colour, this was the comment that really hurt.
My family is an upper middle class family and I’ve been fortunate to always have their support. The one person who really helped me is my MOM. She instilled confidence in me. She taught me to stand tall and be the best. When people mocked the colour of my skin and discriminated against me, she taught me to say, “Thank You.” People stopped teasing as they couldn’t make me feel bad anymore and they didn’t get the reaction they wanted.
Now, when people offer me fairness creams, I do find it hurtful, but I have learned to say “No. I do not need it. I am happy being a dark person and I find being dark is something lovely”.
I want to tell the people in Malaysia, my people, that being dark is not something dirty, disgusting or unwanted. Dark can be elegant and pretty. Dark can be ambitious and proud. Dark can be studious and over achieving. Because it does not depend on how dark or how fair a person’s skin is.
Dear Malaysia, will you join me and dare to be colour blind?
Sai Tharishini Varathan is a 19 yrs old medical student from Malaysia.
She loves to travel, make friends, and everything to do with science.
During her free time, she writes her own stories and wishes to publish them someday. She also loves to sing and participate in dramas.