By- Sanjeevani Shukla
Let's just keep saying it until we actually start believing it.

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Sanjeevani Shukla


The Color of my Skin, The Size of my Waist.


The color of a girl’s skin and the size of her waist conventionally sum up the stereotype of an “Indian girl”. Our society is obsessed with fair skin and a small waist. Our brains have been jammed with stereotypes of how a girl is supposed to look and it is so intense that validation becomes a significant part of our lives.

Growing up I was a dark skinned, skinny little girl always trying to look her best to accentuate her self esteem. But I always ended up disappointed. It used to bother me. I still am all those things but it doesn’t bother me now. It took me some time to realize that. But now I feel free of all those shackles. My clothes don’t define me. My skin color and my size don’t do that either. So what changed?

I saw some beautiful faces with questionable levels of compassion and I realized something. I don’t want to be them. I may not be the prettiest face in the room. But I will always have something to say. I will have an opinion. I would rather be known for my beliefs, however broken they might be, rather than something as insignificant as my looks. My identity will not be defined by something as trivial as the color of my skin or the size of my waist. And I stopped seeking validation.

This realization worked wonders for me. It gave me a peculiar sense of security that people’s perception of me is not dependent on something which is fleeting. Their liking or disliking of me is not reliant on my appearance but on who I am on the inside.

It is high time that we disregard these prejudices and start accepting people for their souls.

It is high time that we direct our energies to gain more, to know more. Next time you see a little girl, don’t tell her how she should look, what her appearance should be. Tell her it doesn’t matter. It is insignificant. As long as she has something to ask and say in a room full of people, as long as she is not intimidated by the strength around her and looks at it as her source of knowledge and gain, as long as she strives to get the right blend of compassion and knowledge, as long as she endeavours to make humanity better; Tell her she is just fine and that every color, every size is beautiful.

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