The Colour of Beauty

I was born in Bangladesh, my parents, especially mom is very fair (and proud of it) as she is part english and a great believer of white supremacy. In our country fair skin is deemed beauitful and highly sought-after.

Brides are choosen according to their skin tone, the fairer you are the greater is your chance of marrying "above you". And the beauty industry thrives on marketing fairness creames "fair and lovely". In Bangladesh, everyone used to say "wow u look like a foreigner, you are so fair and your eyes are gray" (I was 6, but I still felt conceited and thought myself better than others).

 When we moved to NZ, it was a different story, we resided in Newplymouth (mostly white and a few maoris) I was subject to racist remarks all the time, even by the moari kids (even though they were much darker than me) they would say things such as "Go back to your own country u curry muncha". They would refuse to sit next to me, and they would chant "Curry, curry, curry whats for dinner tonight?"  "get me some curry in a hurry" We lived near the beach, and I would often go swimming, much to the chagrin of my mom, so in summer I would become completely brown. I hated my skin colour and wished that I was an anglo.

When we moved to Australia, there were a lot more Indians and Bangladeshis. I went to an all-girls highschool, but I felt like an outcast. They made fun of my Newzealand accent and the muslim girls (mostly lebanese) hated the asian girls (that included the Chinesse, Vietnamese and Indian/Srilankan/ Pakistani/Bangladeshi girls). And the white girls never would intermingle with the "wogs"(Italians/ europeans) "curries" and the "lebos" (the middle-eastern girls thought the white girls were of loose moral character, and the white girls disliked them because of that).

Though the teachers and the community would be proud of the "Multi-culturalism", at school, everyone would stick to their own race, it was a very insular culture.

I felt torn between it all. I liked the asain girls because like them I was very studious (My dad always drilled his belief that in order for (us) to be accpeted as equals we have to supercede the white people in every facet) . I could relate to the lebanese girls because they were muslim. I could relate to the white girls because I grew up in NZ and ofcourse the "curry girls" because of our culture. Whenever I mixed with the asain girls, the leb girls would think I was trying to gain a leverage (picking on there brains), but the asain girls would always be on guard. The white girls and "wogs" just ignored me. And the curry girls pressumed I thought myself superior because of my gray coloured eyes and fairer skin. All I wanted was friends and acceptance.

At uni, I was often mistaken for a latino or a "wog". The indians would say "you are such a white girl" and the latino girls would dislike it if some said "Is she spanish?" they would be quick to point out "come on, latino's have the hottest, roundest ***, her body is no where near like a latino".

Recently, my mom has become increasingly paranoid about my skin colour, since I tanned myself in an attempt to look bronze. She started crying and calling me ugly saying "No one will marry you" and "what will people say, I didn't give birth to a Black Girl".

Winter is approaching, and I am steadily losing my tan. Mom is ecstatic and is releived that she will no longer have to bear the shame of having to explain why her daughter has gone darker in her lame dinner parties. Our culture and community are very narrow-minded and they find no greater pleasure than to find fault and gossip.

I wish people would realise that when we bleed, its always red. And that were you live, your "pedigree" (we aren't cats or dogs) and the colour of your skin and your facial features shouldn't be the scale you use to judge a person, rather what the person has contributed to society and how they lived their life.

umathena umathena
18-21, F
28 Responses Apr 8, 2007

"I wish people would realise that when we bleed, its always red. And that were you live, your "pedigree" (we aren't cats or dogs) and the colour of your skin and your facial features shouldn't be the scale you use to judge a person, rather what the person has contributed to society and how they lived their life" wonderful thought. Your story tells us racism isn't eliminated Yet and probably will not.This poison inside in our heart and brain.

I know this may sound harsh, but those people that do not like or even love themselves should stop reproducing and remove themselves from the gene pool.

i know what you mean ...I'm a dark skinned indian family ...even my flesh and blood mom were so disapppointed when i was born , because they wanted a 'fair cute' baby . I've been insulted numerous times because of my skin color ...not in some white country but in my own homeland ...i face racism regularly . Here is a small thought to think about :<br />
What is superior ... white complexion or black ? <br />
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Does colors really exist ? What is the color of an electromagnetic wave ? None ! Would the 'color' of a wave change if the wavelength of it changes ? What rubbish !!<br />
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But that is what we 'see', isn't it ? There is really no color but we still see colors ... no, no, we don't only see those colors but also have biases towards them ... some are superior to the others ! That is Maya ! The great illusion !! It is all in our mind.

Yes this is true. In our countries people want 'fair'. But where I live now, they don't really care what color your skin is. Yes color is a relative measure and a conception created by humans. Like all such things it is not real. And also judging a person by color, that is also a 'maya' created by our people and hopefully everyone will see the truth eventually .

I came to live in Australia two years ago and I'm also from South East Asia. I never experienced going to school in this country but I go to uni. I just have to say that I love Australia and it has given me so much. As for the racism, yes there are people like this everywhere in the world. Sometimes I find us indians(All countries in south east asia) are more racist than wonderful people who live here. but I have very rarely experienced racism. World is growing up you know. Ever since I've came here I've never dated a girl from my own culture, all my girlfriends have been Asian or Caucasian. They never treated me differently. Just don't think about it that much and mingle with the correct group of people. You will be all right.


While i am sure my political beliefs will be denegrated, i would like to put in my two cents. I am a Neo-Nazi ( a white supremacist) , I am NOT a racist. I DO NOT believe the Aryan race is recoverable, but the white races is. I do believe in eugenics, and my opinion is the opposite side of the spectrum. The abuse you have endured is unfair, and you should be proud of your skin color, being white is not something to be ashamed of or hide. Be proud of who you are, and screw everyone who says otherwise

I am from mixed heritage. I was born white. I have had to endure people talking past my coloured mother, making her wait while they serve other white folk including me, checking my head for lice at school in case my mother couldn't and she is indigenous to this land!!! I CAN NOT ABIDE discrimination of any sort as a consequence. This world is nuts enough. There are earth quakes killing people, floods, tonadoes and familne killing people in their hundreds, THOUSANDS. Why oh why can't humans wake up to their own self- destruction!!!

You relate it so nicely. And like the rest of us here, I hope Racism would be wiped out from the minds of those who consider themselves Superior amongst, just because they are white. Skin color will not make up for a person's good quality. It is how you adapt yourself to diffrent kinds of people which makes you outstanding. And I have seen lots of those great Persons. And no doubt they display good Personality to amongst white color race also.


That was a good story. My mum was a "wog" in Australia and she used to wish she was pale. Now she is proud of it and makes fun of my pale skin. As a white person, I have experienced a lot of racism from the Mexicans and Native Americans at my school. It has settled down now, bit I know how it feels.<br />
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My point is that you should love yourself for who you are. Love the whole package too :)

this story is nuts, must have been so confusing for you. Might sound mean, but looks like your mom is insecure, and has defined herself by her lighted complexion, which has made her feel superior to others. Maybe she feels like if thats gone, what else will she have left to feel superior over others? I think its that need to feel like one is better than the rest (or one's group is more superior) that makes people racist. all stemming from insecurities really.

slavery, is not fair

As a Black American, I first must tell you that YOUR SKIN COLOR IS BEAUTIFUL! Period. Your mother is dead wrong. I can identify with your feelings, yet at the same time, we Americans can get out of the "racist family attitudes" much easier and counter-cultures are everywhere and Black American's will generally take in anybody -- yes, many a White soul has "passed for Black" and/or been accepted into the Black community an an "unofficial" but well-loved member.<br />
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Want to really help yourself recognize just how incredibly beautiful you are with a tan? Easy: read history books on how British whites led Asia Indians to hate themselves, and you'll have the full story. Actually, once your blood begins to boil on how you've been brainwashed, the fire in your heart will start and you'll begin to experience a level of ethnic pride and self-love that you never knew existed! <br />
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One summer I remember worked as a clerk, and remember seeing a very large family of extremely dark-brown Asia Indians standing in line for me and another Black co-worker to wait on them. I was only 19 and couldn't understand why they seemed ashamed of the fact that the Blacks were far lighter skinned than they were -- until someone explained to me the who "wheat complexion" brainwash crap. Why deny the beauty of darkness? That family had a midnight complexion with skin visably soft as velvet: What could be more beautiful?! <br />
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Girl, love yourself; as most minorities in this world love you.

Like one person recently pointed out, I also believe that your mother has an issue with race. What she has done is to get you more complexes of inferiority based on the color of the skin. This is the heritage left by the European colonists, now everyone believe their crap. I would like to quote from a book of ancient political international thought about race: " is especially important to ask how ancient thinkers made distinctions among peoples, because they were surprisingly different from the ways in which modern theorists have viewed their world. SKIN COLOR, FOR INSTANCE, WHICH MANY LATE NINETEEN AND TWENTIETH CENTURY THINKERS HAVE TREATED AS AN EXTREMELY SIGNIFICANT AXIS OF DIFFERENCE, DID NOT FIGURE NEARLY SO PROMINENTLY IN ANCIENT THOUGHT. AS FRANK SNOWDE SAYS, 'THE ANCIENTS DID NOT FALL INTO THE ERROR OF BIOLOGICAL RACISM; BLACL SKIN COLOR WAS NOT A SIGN OF INFERIORITY; GREEKS AND ROMANS DID NOT ESTABLISH COLOR AS AN OBSTACLE TO INTEGRATION IN SOCIETY'. NOR WAS THIS EXCLUSIVELY A PROPERTY OF GREEK AND ROMAN THOUGHT: There was also, for example, "a basic absence in ancient Egypt of racial prejudice'<br />
The fact that they did not systematically discriminate on the basis of skin color does not mean that the ancients were free from prejudice altogether. They simply stressed other differences as important in making judgements from the ones that modern thinkers highlight. While being relatively "color-blind", for example, the Romans were extremely "fashion-concious"; they were fascinated and appalled by the northern barbarians' habit of wearing trousers."<br />
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So, as you can see, we'll have to wait until the times change because it has not always been like this. We have to thank the European Colonialists/Imperialists from the 16th century (and so on) for brainwashing so many countries into thinking that skin color is something important.

Living in some country with different citizenship is such a nice experience….

As a mixed race chinese, english, irish woman i expereinced comments all my life mainly because i was brought up in a english culture surronded by white english people so i kinda relate to how you feel. As i felt that inside me i was english, white but only because of the colour of my skin was i chinese.<br />
Unfortunately racism is ingrained in some people and all i can hope is that people see me for me and not my skin colour

"I wish people would realise that when we bleed, its always red. And that were you live, your "pedigree" (we aren't cats or dogs ) and the colour of your skin and your facial features shouldn't be the scale you use to judge a person, rather what the person has contributed to society and how they lived their life."<br />
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What a powerful statement. So true.

I'm not sure what the Bangladeshi community is like in Oceania, but over in the UK, Colourism (the actual term) is dying down, and I think you really need to talk to your mother of this message as you did writing for us to see. No offence but your mother has some issues with herself and needs self-evaluation about her origins, but then again the other adults there need to aswell. <br />
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Over time, newer generation will get rid of this pointless barrier from the community and people will just marry not just because they're fairer skin. <br />
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Ther are plenty of dark girls that are beautiful, Kelly Rowland and Tannishtha Chatterjee.

hey. i get where you are coming from. I am thai and I have been asked hey are you mexican? and I have even been called a chink numerous times. Anyway, forget what your mother said about no one marrying you. you are dead drop gorgeous! Men would line up around the block to just date you. :)

I'm a mixed breed my mother is spanish/ cherokee indian my is white. Because of my skin color being naturally tan I've experienced racism from many angles white people calling me spic, black people(mostly girls) calling me either a white b$%&^ or a mexican b$%&^ so I know what it feels like but I don't let it bother me anymore I have friends of all different colors and we respect each other that's all that matters.

ppsshh, I'll marry you! You're hot!

As a white woman i will never truly understand the hurt and hatred towards people of different colors or cultures. I have always known that when it comes to prejudice i have had the blessing of not being overtly attacked. Your story, though it does not surprise me, sadly, is illuminating. I hope many people read this, Thank you for sharing it.

As a white woman i will never truly understand the hurt and hatred towards people of different colors or cultures. I have always known that when it comes to prejudice i have had the blessing of not being overtly attacked. Your story, though it does not surprise me, sadly, is illuminating. I hope many people read this, Thank you for sharing it.

I'm mixed race so I've never really fit into any racial category in America, which I imagine is equally as racist as Australia. My parents, who are not white, always wanted me to be white, and if were the non-white kid in a group it wasn't a big deal. But as I got older race politics crept in as it tends to do. It's a tough thing to deal with. Take pride in your culture though -- Rabindranath Tagore is amazing and Bengali culture is bar none.

i couldnt have said it better myself-if only the world was as openminded and tolerant...

Dear Emerald,<br />
You would be regarded as very "Hot Property" not only because of your fair skin but because you are also a foreigner synonmous with "VISA"/Green-card. Oh yes, very desirable indeed.

oh shoot i got them every where, I guess i am really damaged goods. lol , predjudiceism(is that a word?) really sucks. I dont know who you are and dont care you are beautiful because of your thought and your mind. Good for you for standing up for what you believe in your heart to be true. If more people would do that this would be a better place to live. Although EM freckles are really angel kisses, you didnt know that?lol

Hey, but back to that "white thing"! I'm as milky white as they come! Think I could be introduced to some hot, rich man!! lol. OH, but are light freckles across the cheeks considered a blemish??!!

Well put. If everyone could not only realize it, but also live it, the world would be a much better place.