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My Girl Parvati - Part 3: The Stories

Submitted by rchurch on Fri, 20/04/2018 - 20:12

It took all the strength I had not to fall apart
Kept trying hard to mend the pieces of my broken heart
And I spent oh so many nights just feeling sorry for myself
I used to cry, but now I hold my head up high ...

(If you came directly to this page read My Girl Parvati - Part 1: On being taunted "Blackie" and My Girl Parvati - Part 2: Gloria Gaynor and the rewriting of a Hindu myth to get some background to this post)

Here are some of the stories told by women about their experiences with taunting and rejection on account of their complexions. Click on their names to hear their stories

The Parvatis of Africa

The Parvatis of Africa

This Is My Beautifhul

My Skin Bleaching Story



Dark Skinned Girls Are Unattractive

Opinion & Discussion : "Dark Girls" Documentary

Judeline - This Is My Beautiful - Short but poignant

Wande Alugo - My Skin Bleaching Story! - The first one I watched

Tabitha Laker - MY DARK SKIN STORY Pt 1 // ENCOUNTERS of RACIAL ABUSE, ANXIETY & TEARS - A recent one that caught my attention. My favourite among the later crop.

Michelyn Boateng - BEING DARK SKIN IS HARD...... SO I BLEACHED MY SKIN - I'm partial to my tribeswoman.

Wunmi Akinlagun - Dark Skinned Girls Are Unattractive - Another earlier one.

Sherre P - Opinion & Discussion : "Dark Girls" Documentary - Poignant

The Parvatis of India

The Parvatis of India

Why I Hated My Dark Skin

Re: What Dark Skin People Will Never Tell You

Dark Skin Ruined My Life

What Dark-Skinned People Will Never Tell You

Being Dusky: My struggle with self acceptance

Two Sides of the Same Coin

I grew up with my maternal grandparents who always made sure that I believed that the world was a good, happy and wonderful place, where character and goodness of heart mattered, where men and women were equal and each individual was gifted and unique in his or her own special way - where each person had been handcrafted by the Maker.

‘Flaws’ were not called that; they were what made us interesting, like a statue with its chiseled intricacies.

At the other end of the spectrum was my paternal grandfather who went into mourning for a month when I was born because “ivvelevu karuppa porenthutaa (she has been born so black!)”.

My Dad’s reaction was worse: how on earth could his daughter be dark-skinned when his wife was “so beautiful and fair like a foreign import or a North Indian?” He went into mourning for months.

Diya Paul | Dark is Beautiful Campaign | Women of Worth

Submitted by rchurch on Thu, 03/05/2018 - 12:18

Rohini, not as dark my Parvati...Like Pushpamala’s series on Indian goddesses, Rohini too has a little notebook tucked away in her repertoire that has etchings of Hindu goddesses, dark in complexion, sitting freely, sometimes hunching or with legs apart. “Why cannot goddesses be dark? Do they always have to be fair? And, why do they always have to sit in a particular manner? As women, we are always asked to sit properly, keeping our legs together. But sitting freely is just an automatic reflex of the mind when it is relaxed. Why is it everyone’s business to tell a woman how to behave?”

Rohini, love the curly hair, red like Durga, but not black like my Parvati

Raucous cries of a canvas, more of her art at - Canvas for the Self

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Cas Jerome - Why I Hated My Dark Skin - a make up tutorial

Nina Thomas - Re: What Dark Skin People Will Never Tell You

Limitless bwl - Dark Skin Ruined My Life - She prefers to conceal her full-cheeked sweet faced natural Indian beauty behind some kind of vamp look (kind of reminds me of one of the Addams family girls or something similar). Swarnaa seems to have adopted some elements of her style, especially the lipstick.

Why do girls with sweet faces like to go for the vamp look? You won't believe how sweet Hodan is underneath her make up.

Tanha (Buzzfeed) - What Dark-Skinned People Will Never Tell You

Neha Bharadwaj - Being Dusky: My struggle with self acceptance - I love the accent

Diya Paul - Why is India so colour-biased? A question to mull over by all Indians

Rohini Mani - Art and Colorism, more of her art at - Canvas for the Self

My Girl Parvati

It took all the strength I had not to fall apart
Kept trying hard to mend the pieces of my broken heart
And I spent oh so many nights just feeling sorry for myself
I used to cry, but now I hold my head up high ...

This is the point which so many of the girls express in their narratives, their pain and their sorrow, and eventually get out off, though it is clear some it lingers on, and some scars remain. The social attitudes still remain and the remarks will still come. But the maturing and the appreciation of themselves will counter it.

Get A Golden Skin or Die Trying
This is the part my girl Parvati never got over, eventually yielding to the desire to look different, and yearning for death if she failed. She died a little inside, gave up a piece of herself and didn't have the strength to see to tell Shiva to change his attitude or receive his marching orders. What mother with two children decides to take her life over a gratuituous insult? Didn't She see that with her virtues were associated with her Black form just as it is with other Gods eg Krishna, and that by changing her colour her virtues would be disassociated from her complexion?

Immolate herself in the belly of a beast? Who does that? A mother of two?

It still hurts me as a parent, and it still hurts me that as a Goddess she didn't get over it, inspite of being an icon and a (role) model for so many women and girls. Did I mention that she is a Goddess to me as well? I adore her and revere her as much as any human, and that is why the fact that she suffered this kind of experience upsets me so much.

It hurts me that it has taken the words of Human girls, and the sight of one of them performing a song to truly understand the experiences that my daughter, a Supreme Goddess, endured. Virata must be right when he says to Parvati - O Goddess, I am fortunate to have obtained the state of being a man, which is very hard to obtain. I guess us Gods aren't as bright as we think we are. Perhaps we have so much power that we don't acquire the experiences which enhance our growth and maturing.

I think I need have a long chat with her. I will also post some videos where some human females can teach her to emote properly. Coming up soon!!


I am sure you are asking "What are African women doing on a page that is supposed to be about Indian colourism"? The truth is I have searched high and low on social media for Indian women with the deep uncompromising ebony-complexion of my girl Parvati I swear I haven't found a single one. It is like ebony-complexioned Indian women have gone extinct or have eschewed social media altogether. Please don't tell me they have gone extinct. You guys may have teased them so much that they all opted for marrying "fair" men to spare their offspring from the kind of experiences the suffered. The one I found closest to Parvati is Christy from the Dark is Beautiful campaign. Perhaps I am being too picky? She made some comments about the effect of colorism on the psyche, but it wasn't a personal story.

I want girls like Parvati on this page, the Parvati I knew until that Shiva boy caused her to change her complexion. Syama in a sari would do quite nicely. Perhaps Syama will offer me a nice pic of herself in a sari if I ask her nicely enough.

Here are a few candidates for the Parvati of this series.

How about this pretty Somali girl from the time before hijabs became derigueur? Islam is sooooo sooooo sooooo depressing.

Somali woman without hijab from the 80s

Will this Jarawa beauty do? The Andaman Islands are now part of India so I guess she might qualify.
, with baby strapped to back

Jarawa Mother from Andaman Islands

Didn't the native Austrialians settle in India before moving on to Australia? Lots of Indians display that the shade of black she has.

Eleanor from Marlinja

OK OK OK. After a huge social media campaign, on twitter,, facebook, and every other medium you can imagine, including a massive flooding of my mailbox, I have submitted and capitulated. I have listened to your complaints about using non-Indian women instead of Indian women and I will settle for Christy as my Parvati. Her ebony is deep enough and she IS pretty. After all it is India we are discussing.

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