As a dark-skinned South Asian woman, I have experienced colorism my entire life. As early as an infant, others communicated my inferiority due to my skin color. For the past 30 years, everyone from elders in my inherited family, peers, teachers, chosen family as well as complete strangers, have all told me that my place is below them, simply because their skin was many shades lighter than mine.
Thankfully, my parents' positive stories about my rightful place in the world always outweighed the continued verbal assaults on my body. I am beyond grateful for parents who knew, individually and collectively, the importance of teaching me that there was—is— absolutely nothing wrong with my skin color. My parents also taught me to never perpetuate any ill feelings towards other skin tones. Teaching me to love my skin did not mean that I grew up disliking others who were lighter or darker than me.