Why must we have
Honey spun hair
Eyes like the ocean
Like a Barbie doll?
It’s not that the doll isn’t pretty
But it’s that it is the defining standard
Every woman has to look like that doll
And those who don’t
Why is being light-skinned and unhealthy the only way to be beautiful?
I don’t have that coveted European beauty
When they slap a thin white girl on the cover of a magazine and call her Indian
I stare at myself in the mirror, comparing myself to her for hours
Longing for fairness creams to turn my face deathly pale
And a body like hers, ribs poking through the translucent skin
Because anything, anything is better than brown
And the soft blankets of fat, however vital, are shunned
Tan skin, the melanin peeking through our cells
Hair as black as the night
Chocolate brown eyes
And a natural, healthy body
Be considered beautiful?
Why do some women have to change who they are
To meet a standard of sculpted beauty that destroys and dehumanizes them?
Why aren’t we viewed as beautiful just the way we are?
– Saira Uttamchandani