Beauty standards for women in Pakistan are limited. Whether they’re tall, short, dark, white, petite or curvy – such beauty ideals have affected so many women and their self-esteem all over the globe.
Despite all the mayhem, activist and philanthropist Shaniera Akram pens a note about how it’s enough.
Earlier today, Akram took to her official Instagram to talk about her battles as a white woman who went through beyond limits to look tan because she was told it was beautiful.
Aiming to promote a much-needed message about loving the skin you’re in a society that’s fixated on gora rang (fair skin), Akram let her heart out.
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To all the girls with brown skin wishing they had white, I just want to let you know that there are a hell of a lot of white girls who grew up wishing they had dark skin too, I know I was one of them. We thought that if our skin was brown we looked healthier, prettier and more attractive to boys. We would go to any length to change the colour of white to brown because that what what was instilled in our minds, that brown was more beautiful. When I was growing up we rubbed harmful oil on our faces and bodies and lay out all day in the harsh UV sun and burn to a crisp, just so that in 3-4 days the red and extremely painful burn would die down and eventually we would have a brown tan! We would also spend hours lying in a solarium which is fake sunlight machine risking skin cancers, skin disease, spots and adding years to our faces causing wrinkles and irreversible damage. And when the sun wasn’t available we would also rub toxic stains and dyes in to our skin everyday to give our skin a 3-5 shades darker sun kissed brown look. We would spend incredible amounts of money to have brown body paint sprayed on our body every week that gets in our hair, clothes and bedsheets, a body paint that is almost like a stain on our skin that doesn’t wash off for days and when it eventually wore off it would leave our skin patchy, streaky and scaley. And I have never tried this but some girls have synthetic hormones injected in to their bodies to stimulate the pigment cells that produce melanin and actually change the colour of the skin from white to brown permanently. What I’m trying to say is Don’t try and change who you are, be happy underneath your skin, your beauty is interpreted by you, you are beautiful no matter what your skin colour is!! And just remember, to all the girls with brown skin who want white, you are the envy of half the women on this planet, women and girls all over the world that go to any extremes to have your colour skin, so that’s got to be something worth enjoying !!! #BeYourself #LoveYourself #TheGrassIsNotAlwaysGreener #BeautyIsOnTheInside #NeverJudgeByTheColourOfOnesSkin #WeAllStruggleToFindOurSelvesBeautiful #WhoCaresWhatOurSkinLooksLike
Akram started her note saying “to all the girls with brown skin wishing they had white, I just want to let you know that there are a hell of a lot of white girls who grew up wishing they had dark skin too, I know I was one of them”
She went on to share the hardship of “half the women on this planet, women, and girls all over the world that go to any extremes to have your skin color (brown).”
Mentioning how white women resort to get a perfect tan that is considered healthy, Shaniera mentioned how she’s “burnt to a crisp” laying in the sun, used ‘solariums’ and ‘toxic stains’ to achieve brown skin.
”We thought that if our skin was brown we looked healthier, prettier and more attractive to boys. We would go to any length to change the color of white to brown because that what was instilled in our minds, that brown was more beautiful,” she wrote.
She went on to lift up all brown girls that are fed the opposite on this side of the world and told that fair skin is beautiful. “What I’m trying to say is, don’t try and change who you are, be happy underneath your skin, your beauty is interpreted by you, you are beautiful no matter what your skin color is!”
Kudos to Shaniera for giving birth to a positive message that there are always two sides to a coin.
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