There was a time when I wanted a darker skin tone: Shaniera Akram

12:52 PM | 20 Feb, 2020
There was a time when I wanted a darker skin tone: Shaniera Akram
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Our bodies’ unique features individualize us. They’re what sets us apart from everyone else around us. It’s important to embrace the unique aspects of our bodies as the beautiful gifts that we have been blessed with.

Not only would changing our mindsets benefit us, but it would also help those around us. If you are a mother, sister, friend, or daughter, embracing your body and all of its parts sets a precedent for all women and Shaniera Akram is doing just that!

Earlier today, she took to Instagram to open up about her struggles as a white woman who wanted to go all-out to look tan because she was told it was desirable.

“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," she wrote.

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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

A post shared by Shaniera Akram (@iamshaniera) on

"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."

She concluded her note with a positive message to all brown girls that you’re beautiful no matter what and don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise.

“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!” she added.

Colorism in Pakistan isn't just prejudice, it's almost dehumanizing. You're constantly told success is only for fair-skinned people, and god forbid, if you're four shades darker than the colour of flour, you're probably too dark.

Kudos to Shaniera Akram for spreading such a positive message!

Have more to add to the story? Comment below and stay tuned for more!