My Culture Values Whiteness, But I Love My Brown Skin


Brown is beautiful. And as a darker, brown-skinned Punjabi woman, I say bring on the darker shades!

It’s no secret that my culture—Indian culture—values whiteness (both whiteness in actual skin tone and the ideology, but here I’m going to talk about skin). Colorism is alive and well: practices like skin bleaching and avoidance of the sun are all too common.

Not surprisingly, growing up in a culture that values lighter skin makes it difficult to embrace our brownness. We learn that brownness is bad, and that whiteness is good. We praise those who have lighter skin and fairer complexions. But most importantly, we learn to self-hate and to hold back, which impacts our lives in countless ways.

Join me in taking a stand against colorism in our communities—it’s time to embrace the many beautiful shades of brown that we have in our midst!

Watch the video now to hear my story.