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Lavanya Bahuguna

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Story Of This 24 Y.O. Captures The Essence Of Self-Love & Personal Growth Beautifully

  • IWB Post
  •  December 6, 2017

 

Have you ever been on a journey of self-love and self-discovery? A trip that inspired you to not pay attention to what others say about your looks? A voyage that helped you arrive at your happy and comfortable space?

Yesterday, Humans of Bombay published the story of a 24-year-old beautiful girl who, by the looks of it, might not appear an Indian to most of us. She’s got pretty fair skin, golden hair, and galaxy-blue eyes.

Growing up, she was told that her ‘unusual’ looks were not Indian-enough. This led to bullying at school and unnecessary flow of beauty tips from acquaintances.

She says, “Growing up being the ‘odd one out’ had many ups and downs. While my family adored me, I was bullied by my classmates at school. From being left out in games or being called a ‘leukoderma patient,’ the teasing was nonstop. There were many times when I would go home crying, but I never found the courage to fight back.”

Her insecurities only doubled when she reached her teens, a time when most kids are already dealing with the way they appear to the public.

Things didn’t change in the college, either. Shockingly, it was her Principal who made it worse. She says, “One time I was in college and the principal called me into her office. She asked me, ‘have you looked at yourself in the mirror?’ She then went on to explain that my sleeveless top, combined with my white skin was too ‘eye catchy’ and that I should dress more ‘appropriately.’”

This Mumbai girl’s story is emotional but surely signals towards her inner transformation. She goes on to tell how these traumatic events led to one point where she began accepting her the way she is. And once that happened, she started experiencing things she had only imagined in her mind.

Read her powerful story below:

I’m 24 years old, and contrary to popular belief, I’m 100% Indian. I looked different since the day I was born —while some were in awe of my pale white skin, others assumed I had a birth defect.
At 3, I got a lot of freckles on my skin…adding to how ‘different’ I looked. Of course, it bothered me — I’ve seen multiple doctors, and the only thing I know for sure is that I don’t have a disease. Growing up being the ‘odd one out’ had many ups and downs. While my family adored me, I was bullied by my classmates at school. From being left out in games or being called a ‘leukoderma patient’, the teasing was nonstop. There were many times when I would go home crying, but I never found the courage to fight back. As a teenager, the insecurities were worse. I never considered myself ‘attractive’ and thought no one could like me. Adults around me made it worse. One time I was in college and the principal called me into her office. She asked me, ‘have you looked at yourself in the mirror?’ She then went on to explain that my sleeveless top, combined with my white skin was too ‘eye catchy’ and that I should dress more ‘appropriately.’ “This incident was painful because at that age most of us are already insecure and spend so much time in front of the mirror to make sure we looked good. What’s sad is that there was no rule against sleeveless clothing and every second girl used to dress like me. Yet I was singled out.

(1/2)”I’m 24 years old and contrary to popular belief, I’m 100% indian. I looked different since the day I was born -while some were in awe of my pale white skin, others assumed I had a birth defect. At 3, I got a lot of freckles on my skin…adding to how ‘different’ I looked. Ofcourse it bothered me – I’ve seen multiple doctors and the only thing I know for sure is that I don’t have a disease. Growing up being the ‘odd one out’ had many ups and downs. While my family adored me, I was bullied by my classmates at school. From being left out in games or being called a ‘leukoderma patient’, the teasing was non stop. There were many times when I would go home crying , but I never found the courage to fight back. As a teenager the insecurities were worse. I never considered myself ‘attractive’ and thought no one could like me. Adults around me made it worse. One time I was in college and the principal called me into her office. She asked me, ‘have you looked at yourself in the mirror?’ She then went onto explain that my sleeveless top, combined with my white skin was too ‘eye catchy’ and that I should dress more ‘appropriately.’

5,247 Likes, 96 Comments – Humans of Bombay (@officialhumansofbombay) on Instagram: “(1/2)”I’m 24 years old and contrary to popular belief, I’m 100% indian. I looked different since…”

But all these experiences helped me to rise above my insecurities. No one, not even my teachers were going to look out for me the way I had to look out for myself. The switch in my mindset took place when I began to travel. In new places, I started getting a lot of positive attention. Strangers would compliment me and use words like, ‘beautiful’ to describe me. Slowly, I realized that looking different could actually be a gift— no one would ever forget me! The moment I accepted my appearance and started walking around with confidence, people automatically started accepting me. Today, I’ve made friends that never make me feel awkward. This could only happen when I decided to love myself no matter how I looked.  I’m so comfortable in my skin — not only do I have freckles, but I also have open pores which I needed to deal with medically, but I was never worried. When I went to a dermatologist for a cure, she started suggesting treatment for my freckles instead. At that point, I had no issues with my freckles, so I tried to correct her.

‘if you deal with your freckles, you’ll start looking good’ was her response. I remember looking at my mother in disbelief and quickly responding, ‘I’m pretty sure I look great already!’ — I take pride in standing up for myself and not letting anyone put me down. Now that I love me, I always dress my best and bring out my biggest smile for anyone that stares! I no longer wonder if people are judging me because of my appearance…I’m too busy being in love with myself to worry about all that!”

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