THE SUMMER I TURNED NEGRA (AND SHUFA)

May 5, 2017



I’ve a lot of questions about girls with dark skin.

For one thing, I’ve often wondered why people would say “OMG negra na kaayo ka” whenever one gets dark after some time spent in the sun, especially in the summer.


I mean, we’re Filipinos.

Who live in a tropical country.

Where it’s summer half the year.

Wouldn’t it only be natural for us to be morena?

But still, people find it funny if you've got some good color on you.

Why?


I’ve never been afraid of the sun. I’m the girl floating in the water, her head turned towards the sunshine, just soaking it in. Naturally, I never burn, I just get baked and bronzed and I love it. But most of people don’t. It's 2017 and still, all around us we see ads or programs or publications telling the morena girl that she should have lighter skin to be pretty.

Why is that?


I’ve been dark skinned all my life. It’s the nickname and identifier people have of me. Growing up, my skin is what people use to tease me about.

It’s never really bothered me, not really, but I’ve often asked, why my skin?


Why not my height? Or bad math skills? Or annoying singing voice?

On my graduation photo, I don’t look like myself. I think someone turned the skin-whitening too high on their photoshop. And again, I ask. Why?

The more I see commercials of skin-whitening products and the harder it becomes for me to find the perfect shade of foundation that fits my skin tone, the more I keep asking: why?

Why do I need to be fair to be considered "beautiful?"


Why are morenas the underdogs in their own country?

Is morena not beautiful?



It would take a while to get to the bottom of the debate. We can point to years of colonialism, Hollywood, a skewed standard of beauty or just plain old personal preference. There's just so much factors playing in it that it's a headache to hash out.

But here's something for you, argen girl.

Beauty is never defined by how light or dark your skin is. 


And if you're comfortable in your own skin, don't let other people make you feel otherwise. If you're healthy, and happy, who's to tell you that your skin is not wonderful just the way it is? 

There's no shame in having dark skin.

You're wonderful just the way you are. :)


Love,

K x

@krishafromtheisland

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