Disturbing Musings

I know I’ve kinda sunken into a rut here. I’ve kinda let my blog sink into a pattern and stopped writing about whatever I feel like, whenever I feel like it. I started this blog out wanting it to be an honest barometer of my thoughts, but I guess it’s my fault I’ve only talked about a few things without really going out of my way to express my opinions on the things that really matter.

I was talking to eva a few days ago, and the topic we were talking about made me realize that I haven’t shown the pessimistic, disillusioned, pensive side of me on my blog. Life isn’t all happy happy, and that is precisely the reason why I have so many outlets for my frustrations. K-drama, movie, music, writing; all these things serve as great distractions where I can be romantic to my heart’s content without letting reality wag it’s annoying finger at me.

Anyhoo, back to the point I was planning on writing about. I read this article a while ago which a friend shared on facebook. There are many social evils that pervade the culture I belong to, but this is the worst. Read the article, and come back. There are plenty of other posts hyperlinked to it, for further reading.

It’s true. People in South Asian countries are complete racists. Not to people of other races, but to their very own. I feel blessed that I grew up outside, mostly shielded from developing a similar mindset. I had kids from all over the world in my class, so I ended up in the middle of the color-spectrum, not that I EVER gave a thought to it. I remember the two most popular girls back in elementary school. One was Sudanese and one was Slovakian. I thought both were beautiful. We had a pool in our school and would swim instead of run when the weather would get too hot. The pool was outdoors, and in the blinding sunlight of Saudi Arabiat, we would all get pretty tan. Later, we would pull back the shoulders of our swim suits and compare tans, shrug, and not give a second thought to it. It was when I’d go to Pakistan in the following summer that I’d get my unwanted dose of culture shock. I remember arriving in the sweltering heat of pre-monsoon Karachi. All the relatives I knew and didn’t know would be waiting to welcome us at my grandparents’ house. I’d be surrounded by people I really didn’t remember from the summer before, but I’d always remember the comments they made as they saw me after a long time. “Oh, she’s gotten so dark!” “Yeah, what have you been upto? Do you play around in the sun a lot? You shouldn’t, you know.”
Me: uh…I swim. Plus I am kinda dark skinned.
I, being too small to put a finger on exactly why those particular comments bothered me, let it slide. During the months I’d stay there, I’s hear from the less articulate little ones that I’d gotten ‘kali’  (black) . I’d feel so bad! What could I do about it?

I remember wondering that being this color wasn’t a issue back home in Saudi, where the majority of people were light-skinned anyway, but it was in Pakistan, where most of the people weren’t that much fairer than me. I remember my fair skinned cousins and how everyone would fawn over them. I myself thought they looked better, and wanted to be like them. Till this day, I hear stories of how dark-skinned girls don’t get married off well, or in some cases, don’t get married at all. It’s embarrassing that this is an open secret, the mentality of an entire country. Watch Pakistani or Indian television and within five minutes of the commercial break you’ll see an ad for a fairness-inducing cream. You’ll see beautiful foreign-looking pale models with flawless skin selling you an inferiority complex. The worst, the worst advertisements are the ones for the fairness creams. THEY PISS ME OFF SO GODDAM MUCH!!!

They all go like this : Dark-skinned girl sits at home in shabby clothes. She is sad and feels shy around people. Her pretty friend suggests a ‘magic’ cream that will change her fate within what seem like seconds. Suddenly the plain girl comes out and is ten shades lighter with amazing hair, body and three inch heels. All the guys in the room ogle her. She tosses her hair and laughes. Some guy asks her to marry him, and puts a fat diamond on her finger. Close up of that magic cream.

DOES THIS NOT GIVE YOU GOOSEBUMPS?? DOES IT NOT??? I’ve had to work so hard on my tolerance to keep from screaming out and forcing the person with the remote to change the channel.

Anyways, that was then, this is now. I, thank God, have my head on straight. I’d come back home from Pak and readjust my values and self-esteem. I spent quite a while thinking about it when I’d get back and over time I became a completely balanced individual. I LOVE myself. I have darker skin-tone, but I have FLAWLESS skin. I’ve never gotten pimples. I have great, shiny naturally silky straight hair. I have naturally hairless arms and legs (this is a blessing in the ethnicity I belong to) but most of all, I have a warm smile and expressive eyes. I repeat, I love me.

I still do face prejudices when I enter a Pakistani-majority gathering. Not anything extreme, for example I do spot cliques of better looking girls huddled together away form the less fortunate ones. But I make sure that at the end of the day, the way I act, the way I talk leaves a deep impression on the people and THAT makes them determine my worth. Not the color of my skin, not the trendiness of my clothes or how much money I have,  just ME. Anyone who still has their heads up their asses doesn’t deserve the privilege that is my company. BOOYA!

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About thejawavillager

I am a mad scientist with an underground lab rivaling Dexter's that I will soon use to rule the world. Join my army or be killed in the aftermath.
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10 Responses to Disturbing Musings

  1. Raine says:

    Bravo.

    It is the opposite here, as the article said. I live in Miami. I always get, why are you so pale if you live in Miami. I inherited the Russian/Polish side of my heritage. I burn. I don’t tan. I avoid the sun.

    I’m sorry. I like being pale, so get over it. I don’t look sickly, I don’t look unhealthy so why do you keep suggesting that I need a flippin’ tan? I have dark hair, dark eyes, dark brows. They contrast well with my pale skin. Why are you wearing a hat? You need some sun. You’re too pale. FUCK OFF!

    A friend of mine, she is French/black and in France her cousin gets called ‘snow white’ because her family is French islander and she’s pale, looks like a mixed race woman. But snow white is an insult cause everyone in her family is blacker than her. When I was there she was crying because her cousins had just insulted her.

    Anyway, you have paling creams, we have tanning creams and salons…in SUNNY MIAMI FLORIDA. What does that say about the world…guh. They make people look orange. (cue laughter)

    It doesn’t matter where you are, someone is going to have something to say about why you don’t fit the bill. I’m glad you’re comfortable in who you are, cause I’m comfortable in me.

    Plus, you’re beautiful. I know thats besides the point, but its true. 😀

  2. foraredrose says:

    Jawavillager, THANK YOU THANK YOU for posting this. I’m South Indian, and the pervasiveness of wanting to be ‘fair’ is so freaking ridiculous in South Asian culture that I have just given up trying to persuade anyone in the community about the absurdity of it all. From the Fair & Lovely commercials to the comments by relatives, you are dead right on all counts! South Asian Pride FTW! 😀

    • SAME HERE. It’s no use even thinking of attempting the impossible feat of fixing this aspect of our society.
      I remember back during my brief stint of uni in Pakistan how the other girls in my bus would wear gloves and full-sleeved clothes just to protect their skin. I remember this one time when I was particularly struck by the difference between them and I , when it was a particularly cold day, and the sun left so good on my face. I just closed my eyes and let my face bask in the warmth. You know that feeling, when you’re indescribably happy just because of something little like the molten red color under your eyelids when the suns on your face? That feeling. Then the girl in front of me closed the curtains, blocking my sunlight. I just stared at her. How can you deprive yourself so?

    • Raine says:

      People always try to covet what they don’t have. The South Asian skin color is gorgeous. I have a pink undertone to mine and I really enjoy the darker, brown/yellow undertone/pigmentations of the SA skin tones. A lot of the islanders here have such dark, chocolate-y complexions. It’s flippin beautiful. They have this almost…reddish? I suppose, undertone.

      • alua says:

        SO true… both that people trying covet what they don’t have (hence skin-bleaching creams in countries with darker-skinned people and tanning salons in countries with pale skinned people) and the South Asian skin colour being gorgeous.

        I’m pretty whitey-white but if I’m in the tropics I tan well (not on purpose – I’m not one to have the patience to lie down and tan… would bore the hell out of me).

  3. eva626 says:

    LOL at the fairness creams…its sad how people dont like being brown anymore haha.
    I can picture the cliche girls on one side, and the ‘less fortunate’ one on the other…poor jawa in the middle haha. I noticed that people in paki (esp ones who have lived there for a long time) are very racist. This annoys me cause they backlash on people in the usa (I AM ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE IN THE USA) and they also copy every darn thing the american media propagates. Hypocrites (not all but most).

    .

    P.S. I felt special when you mentioned me!

    • Yeah, people looove bashing the pakis who live abroad. We are always the spoiled kids, lol. Just the irony of that cracks me up.
      And you are special my blogging chingu! (chingu means friend in Korean, just so you know :P)

  4. SoSo says:

    thankfully.here in my country we have simple specification in the quality of ur future wife…she has to be tall,skinny,white white white,ideal background and preferably colored eyes…if any of u knows such creature pls contact me!!!.i am proud to be from a non discriminitive country!!!

    • I dunno which Arab you are, but you people are so pretty to begin with. The standards just get raised accordingly, I guess. White whitey white, colored eyes, skinny, etc. I think I read about a species of human like that. Fairies. They’re extinct now, though.

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