Liz Barlak Photography
Historically, our Indian society has been so ashamed of dark skin that we have painstakingly shown the Western world only our fairest, and lightest-skinned leading Bollywood actresses. Western civilization has learned from us that these fair-skinned women are "what Indian women look like." And, if that is all they see, then that is all they will ever know.
The darker girl's mantra: stay out of the sun, don't tan, and use this homemade concoction to fade your skin colour. Unless you're born fair like Aishwarya Rai, you've likely been subject to some version of this growing up -- but the Dark is Beautiful campaign is working to change this.
As a kid, I quickly figured out my so-called "dark" brown skin was darker than most Indian girls and as a result, I become fascinated with fair skin. These days at 24, I'd like to think these things are part of my past but a recent article in the Guardian, "India's unfair obsession with lighter skin," is like a slap in the face -- an ongoing obsession with fair, lovely, beautiful skin here and there.