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Monday, July 23, 2018

How a photoshoot changed the life of a Mumbai woman bullied over her colour and looks

The woman said that she chose ill-fitting clothes and hated herself for not fitting the norms of what was considered beautiful. However, she said things changed when she agreed to do a photoshoot in college. 

By: Trends Desk | New Delhi | Updated: July 10, 2018 5:30:06 pm
girl dark skin story, humans of bombay, humans of bombay story, being brown in india, indian fair skin obsession, is india obsessed with white skin, As she grew up, she chose ill-fitting clothes and hated herself for not fitting the beauty standards set around her. (Source: Humans of Bombay/Facebook)

The latest post shared by the Humans of Bombay Facebook page describes the life of a woman, who says she went into a shell after being bullied about her looks and skin colour. As she grew up, she says she chose ill-fitting clothes and hated herself for not fitting beauty standards that were the norm.

“Growing up, I was bullied because of my dark complexion and ‘foreigner’ looks. My classmates asked me why I wasn’t applying ‘fair and lovely.”

However, things changed when she agreed to do a photoshoot in college.

ALSO READ | I love my skin, it’s brown: Girls counter the obsession with fair skin and fairness creams

Read the full post here:

Growing up, I was bullied because of my dark complexion and ‘foreigner’ looks. My classmates asked me why I wasn’t applying ‘fair and lovely.’ It got worse when a girl threw her shoe at me, in a playground, saying ‘go away, you don’t belong here’… I internalised all the anger. I wore baggy clothes and withdrew in my shell… I hated myself because I could never match the beauty standards of those around me.

It was only when I went to college that things started to change. When my seniors told me to participate in a fun photoshoot — I naively agreed. They asked me to wear a towel, pose and smile. I knew they were ‘ragging’ me, but I can’t thank them enough because when I saw those photos, my perspective changed. I realised that there was nothing wrong with me. I was beautiful. These photos captured the real me — and for the first time, I liked what I saw.

When I went on to a different university, I took up photography as a hobby. My confidence came through my camera… and it defeated my insecurities. I began to photograph myself more — I took care of myself better, lost the baggy clothes and set out to lose weight. In 6 months I lost 20 kgs and I knew that anything I set my heart on, I could achieve. I was a confident new person.

In fact, when the guy I was seeing threatened to leave me saying ‘it’s the way you look, my parents won’t accept you,’ I left him. But I wasn’t done facing challenges… During college, one night, my professor locked me in his room and raped me. I was traumatized. I started feeling ‘dirty’ again. But, I kept reminding myself that the fault wasn’t mine — I yanked myself out of it. So, I worked twice as hard to keep my spirit intact and focus on my photography…I dreamt of being the best photographer in India. I took on every project that came my way, researched all kinds of photography and immersed myself in the process.

Three years later, when I came to Mumbai, I started my own company — a feeling I can’t express. It wasn’t easy — I faced rejections and was looked down by my previous bosses, but I stuck it out… and that’s been my biggest lesson.
Today, I have a great business, my own home and a boyfriend who makes me feel beautiful. But that’s only because I FEEL beautiful in my skin — I am the masterpiece I was searching for my entire life and I love every shade, every scar, every color it displays.”

Does this story inspire you? Tell us in the comments section below.

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