How Fair & Lovely Bottled Up India’s Insecurities

January 10, 2018

Generations of young women were taught to live, love and be happy–just not in their brown skin. It was the plop sound of the goopy cream, its silken texture and slight luminescence that called out to me on the days I felt ugly: a thin, white veneer of televised fable to put between my brown … Read More

Tara Anand and Anoushka Agrawal’s Shade Cards Talk About Colorism Through Poetry

April 25, 2017

Last week, artist Tara Anand began posting curious illustrations to her Instagram: girls of varying brownness smiling as their eyes were shielded by Pantone color cards. Shade Card, an art series illustrated by Anand and captioned with poetry by Anoushka Agrawal, set out to explore colorism in the South Asian community. Tan, 478C. Wheatish, 7644C. These women … Read More

The Suitable Girl: Am I Allowed To Say Dusky?

March 21, 2016

After a hard day’s running around in the sun kicking a ball or kicking another child, my mother would bring me inside and rub my skin with a mixture of cucumber pulp and milk. Why, I would ask. To keep you from getting dark, she would say. As the somewhat duskier child of a fair mother, … Read More