“Why do your boyfriend likes you, your skin is too dark?” once someone asked me. It did have taken me back but I didn’t show the pain or I thought I did. I smiled, with all the patience I have not to say something hurtful back.
This is the life of a tanned girl, in the middle of the society who kisses the ass of white people; where beauty standards include being white skinned, tall and skinny. Where you hear them say, “You should have been really pretty if you have whiter skin”
I grew up being ridiculed of my skin color, which is ironic because most are tanned where I came from. So, growing up, I thought that was beauty: to have a very fair skin like celebrities and Americans. I grew up believing I don’t measure up to that standard.
I came to a point where my then-boyfriend would buy skin whitening products for me. As if being tanned is a disease needed to be cured. I obliged because then I thought, maybe I will be prettier if I would have fairer skin. It was one of the mistakes I made.
After being in the other side of the world, I realized that standard is not real. It is just defined by people who have very narrow minds. That there are places in this world that appreciate our tanned color; that they find it pretty.
Right then, I realized, I should not let society define my beauty. They’re not entitled to that and they will never have the right to do so.
But even so, I still get hurt sometimes when I hear words like what has been said to me as if I don’t deserve something just because I’m tanned. As if being tanned is a problem, as if being tanned makes me an incompetent girlfriend. As if being tanned means you don’t deserve the love you get.
In times when the standard still break my heart, I remind myself that I will not let them define me. And each time it happen recently I remember a quote from GOT of Tyrion. He said, “…Let them see their words cut you and you’ll never be free of mockery. If they give you a name, take it, make it your own. Then they can’t hurt you anymore.”
So, yes. I’m tanned and yes, I deserve everything I have.