Who Put the White in Snow White?

When adults would read me Snow White as a child, I always marveled at the beautiful Princess’s beauty. Her loving mother had wished for a daughter with skin as white as snow, lips as red as blood and hair as black as coal.

Wow. She sounds pretty.

Except…. (Sound of a record scratching)

Back the fuck up, yo.

Skin as WHITE as snow?

Hmmm.

That’s me in the back with the pink shirt and the glasses.

I was raised in a pretty homogenous small town in New Jersey, at least when I was young. It started to become more and more diverse as droves of New Yorkers from Brooklyn, Staten Island and Queens started to move a little further out to raise larger families in bigger homes, where they could still commute to the city. When I graduated from high school, my yearbook reflected faces from around the world.

But when I was younger, like in elementary school, there were just a few faces that were the other side of tan, scattered in a sea of white.

One of them was mine.

I remember my friends always being perplexed when it was time to draw a picture of me. I could turn out anything from yellow to orange, red to burnt sienna. Sometimes all in the SAME picture, guys. My favorite was when one of my friends tried to mix black and white together and I just ended up looking like a freakish zebra kid.

Talented kid, that one.

You can see there was some diversity in this picture. There’s Aimee Moy in the back. She was my one Chinese friend throughout Elementary School. There is Terence in the middle in the front row. I don’t know where he is – he moved that year, but he used to sing his ass off in the bathroom, I remember that. The Indian boy next to Terence* is Rajiv. He was my next door neighbor and also Indian, so OF COURSE, he was my “boyfriend” which made us just want to pull each others’ hair out even more. There was Jonathan**, sitting at the end of the front row – half Filipino and half white, he was one of the few “mixed” kids I knew.

At home, the messages I received around skin color were no less confusing. As I heard of cousins’ marriages being arranged, when asked if the girl was pretty, the answers were usually along the lines of “ha, bohut gauri hai.Yeah, her skin is whiter than a holy cow’s milk. or “Chehra meh taura sa paani hai.” Which literally translates to, her face has water in it.

I don’t know what that means, but it had to do with the girl not having a very white face. Or maybe being bloated.

The message was clear, the whiter you were, the prettier you were.

Bollywood movies played in the background of my house and the message was confirmed. Most of the beautiful Indian actresses were  fair-complected,  sometimes with light colored eyes. Scroll down and see some of the examples….

Typical.

 

 

Do you guys notice anything similar about these women? Do you? DO YOU?

They all look like they can bloody be cast as Snow White in a Bollywood version of the movie.

I would never look like these beauties. Five minutes in the sun and my skin would darken, throwing my mother into a panic as she wondered if she would ever be able to find a suitable husband for me. At the time, she and my father were still under the illusion that they would be making that decision for me.

Aw, parents. You gotta love them.

There was this one commercial that started playing in my later years of elementary school in the middle of Indian movies. It was for a cream called “Fair and Lovely.” Basically the commercial starts out with a boy and his parents seeking out a prospective bride. The boy sees the girl and thinks she is pretty but is a little disappointed because her skin is not “white” enough. The girl’s mother senses the boy’s discomfort with her daughter’s skin color, so she buys her somewhat tanner daughter a little old “Fair and Lovely” and makes sure that her “homely” daughter applies it every day.

After a strict regimen of just applying the skin cream, the girls complexion starts to lighten. She is transformed into a whiter, and obviously, according to the ad, much prettier version of herself. By the time the boy sees her at the wedding, he is mesmerized.

He turns to his mother, “Vow, Mom. Look at her skin! Kitni fair and lovely!” (How fair and lovely. Oh and look at what a racist jack ass I am!)

The boy and girl marry and ride off into the sunset.

It’s like, so magical, in a really disturbing, ethnophobic and backwards kind of way.

Anyway. The summer before I went to high school, I went to India with my parents. And I saw the billboard ads for “Fair and Lovely” ALL over India. And I saw how it magically transformed these girls’ lives.

So of course I had to have it.

I would slather it on my skin to the point where I actually started to look whiter right away. I mean, imagine if you took  ten layers of Nivea and just let it sit on your face. I thought if I let it “marinate” and “simmer” a little, I might get results faster. I would sit there and sometimes look in the mirror to see if I was whiter. What, it’s been twenty minutes?

Damn. Still not white.

I don’t know if it ever worked. To be honest, a minute in the sun and I catch color, so I could never keep up with enough applications of “Fair and Lovely” to stay ahead of the “whiteness” curve, as I like to think of it now. When I came back home, I started playing high school sports, so was out and getting tan and no amount of “Fair and Lovely” was ever going to negate the effects of that.

I don’t know what my mom ever did with all those tubes of “Fair and Lovely,” but I know I didn’t need it anymore.

Eventually, I learned to love the skin I was born in. Because by then, my metabolism had caught up with me, so I had other fish to fry.

Just kidding. Kind of.

I don’t eat fried fish.

My husband is half-Italian and half Puerto-Rican. With me being 100% Indian in ethnicity, our kids are quite a mix. I love their exotic features and their beautiful skin. And I know one day they might have questions about skin color, but I don’t think they will be quite as startling as mine. They are growing up in a much more racially diverse environment than I did. Northern Virginia, on the outskirts of Washington, D.C., is one of the most racially and internationally diverse places we could have settled. I love that about our area.

When they watch TV, they will see faces that look like theirs. I don’t think I saw any Indian faces on mainstream television till Apu made his breakthrough performance on “The Simpsons.” There are TV anchors with names like “Kiran Chetry.” There are more Indian role models in mainstream American culture like Mindy Kaling, Kal Penn, Padma Lakshmi, just to name a few.

Heck, one of these days, they might even cast Indian doctors on some of the medical shows. Because of course, that wouldn’t be too true to reality or something. Where is Dr. McCurry already, people?

Anyway, I was 14 that summer I tried to make myself white. I like to think that I was just one step ahead of Michael Jackson on that one. A true trendsetter.

As a bonus, I have found some current “Fair and Lovely” commercials for you to watch. Between laughing and gasping in extreme horror, I just ask you to forgive me by ever being influenced by this shit.

This newscaster’s career dreams were always being held back by her skin color of course! Until she decided to take charge!

In this one, one of the girls is accused of “doing cheating” because she saw results faster than the other girl. But the other girl didn’t apply the skin EVERY day like her. Idiot.

At least they are gearing it towards men too! Thank goodness! The stunt double always gets out shined by the much whiter hero until he finds the mens version of “Fair and Lovely.”

A career changing move, you’ll see.

This girl’s dreams of being a Cricket announcer cannot be realized until she is like, whiter. I love how teary her mom gets to see her daughter living her white dreams to the fullest.

* If you have seen Terence, please let me know. None of us in Old Bridge, NJ  have seen him since the first grade. I don’t remember his last name, but he is known for singing loudly in bathrooms.

** If you have seen Jonathan Gross, also let us know. None of us have seen him since he moved from Old Bridge, NJ in the fifth grade. Apparently he is too smart to be on Facebook.

Also, would you guys click on this button below if you want to see me selected as one of the Top 25 Funny Mom Blogs? You can vote from now until Feb 13th every day. I was nominated late so I’ve got some ground to make up for. Help me validate my funny! ;-) XO.

Circle of Moms Top 25 Funny Moms - 2013 - Vote for me!

Namaste,
Kiran

51 Responses to Who Put the White in Snow White?

  • Sig
    Twitter:
    says:

    Hahaha…oh these ads brings back memories. I remember my mum also yelling at me for playing in the sun because she feared I would go “dark” and publicly lamented that I was much darker than my sister (who has skin as “white as snow” that she is often mistaken as not Indian).

    I also remember refusing, when I was 15, to slather on Fair and Lovely cream that my mum had requested my Dad bring back from his trip from India and gleefully kept going into the sun. Somehow, my skin has naturally lightened over the years (beats me because I’m the first one out there having a tan) lol.

    I LOVE mixed kids – I think they get best of both worlds and genes and are incredibly gorgeous. I have a few dark-light combo friends that when they have kids are going to have to keep me away from them because I’ll be slobbering them with kisses.

    Have you seen the “Fair and Handsome” ads as well?? And there’s even one for your hoo-ha that not only keeps it “fresh”, it subtly lightens it as well. Google it. I dare you. That shit is real.
    Sig recently posted…Pregnancy Diaries – Week 28/29My Profile

    • masalachica says:

      Sugandha – that is funny. No – I did not know about the “Fair and Handsome” ads as well. As for the hoo-ha thing, I don’t even want to imagine where that commercial would go.

      Maybe it would be like, “wow, mom. she’s so pretty. but seriously. what’s she going to be like, down there, if you know what I mean.”

      And then on the wedding night, I guess he finds out.

      Love that!

  • At least they do have Mindy Kaling as a doctor in her show :) I’m sorry, Vera Chokalingam. Even that got white-washed.
    Nicole(Whole Strides) recently posted…Way more than you care to knowMy Profile

  • Tanya
    Twitter:
    says:

    I can so relate, that totally looks like my elementary school class. And your relationship with Rajiv b/c he was the only other Indian boy. funny, although the other Indian boy in my grade had skin just as dark as mine and bullied ME with names about my skin color. Insecure possibly as he was friends with a bunch of white boys but heartless nonetheless.

    My kids, being half Indian and half Mexican (but very fair skin…ok, he’s white as they get in the winter and tans a little in summer), have a beautiful olive tone to their skin. My oldest told me he was appreciative of MLK, Jr. I am insanely proud of that child and asked him why he said that. He said because if MLK, Jr. hadn’t started the civil rights movement you (the dark skinned one) and daddy (the light skinned one) would not have been able to get married and he wouldn’t exist. I laughed at first but he had a point about skin color and perceptions about race because of skin color.

    Great post as usual, and of course I will vote for you for top funny blog. I always laugh and can relate to your writing.
    Tanya recently posted…Biannual Blogathon Bash 2013 – It’s Party Time!My Profile

    • masalachica says:

      Oh no, Tanya! That is terrible about the boy in your class. To be honest, Rajiv and I ended up more like cousins since we grew up alongside each other for that long. But I would have been devastated if we ended up being mean to each other, that would have sucked even worse than everyone making fun of us for K-I-S-S-I-N-G in a tree or whatever shit we got.

      I love that re: your son’s point on MLK. Of course it’s true, so much of what we see as the fabric of this country would be different. My daughter was asking me about him last night, and I was trying to explain the civil rights movement in a way that would make sense for a 5 year old. Can’t wait to teach her more about that part of American history as well as about how MLK was influenced by Gandhi’s teachings around non-violent protest.

      XO,
      Kiran

  • Tanya
    Twitter:
    says:

    love it, i was vote #100! good luck Kiran.
    Tanya recently posted…My Life List: a Bucket List but Better!My Profile

  • What a great post! This is my favorite one you have done so far since I am able to relate. I started using Fair and Lovely when I was like 10 years old, and my mom saw me using it and threw it out. And I kept whining to her that I wanted it back. Not sure how I got my hands on that stuff. It’s really sad the image media portrays for women… you have to be fair in order to get a guy, and this crap still exists in India. Loved your comment on McCurry! Seriously, wtf are they waiting for? Voted for you! You rock!
    Honey What’s Cooking recently posted…healthier Spinach Linguine Alfredo… never say never!My Profile

    • masalachica says:

      That always annoyed me about the lack of an Indian doctor on that show. ER finally brought the girl from “Bend it Like Beckham” but it was pretty late in the game. How many hospitals have you been to in a major city where half the staff is not Indian, Chinese or just Asian in general. Come on, casting people?

      I am glad your mom threw it away. Smart of her. I was telling my husband about the ads and was sure that they weren’t there – but I think they just got worse than they were before!

      Thank you for voting – I really appreciate it :-)!
      Kiran

  • Senita
    Twitter:
    says:

    Wow! What a great post! Those commercials completely blew my mind. I grew-up living in predominantly white neighborhoods, and had always gone to predominantly white schools. (So imagine my culture shock when I went to Howard University. I remember thinking “[gasp!] The Cosby’s do exist!”) But when I moved to Old Bridge and started to attend high school, I remember the sheer confusion of lunch time. All the black students sat at two tables. The races just didn’t intermingle. I remember being confused at why I felt so hurt when several of the black boys openly proclaimed that they would NEVER date or marry a black girl (and they didn’t). Anyway in all of that self-hatred-like behavior and adolescent segregation, I never ever wanted to lighter than I am. In fact, I always wished I had the beautiful dark skin of my grandparents and cousins. I used to stand in the sun hoping that my skin would darken and glow like the Caribbean and African girls I would play with when I went to visit my relatives in Newark.

    Visiting, and later living in, the south, I would often run into girls that would “bleach” their skin to be lighter. Fair skinned girls often would often get special treatment. Their parents would not let them play with dark skinned kids. They let me play with them because I “talked white” and spoke “good English”. If those girls had light colored eyes and long hair, they were placed on a pedestal. Fair skinned boys got similar treatment. They were destined to be doctors, lawyers, and business men, while their darker peers were encouraged to join the army or learn a trade. I remember in my teens often overhearing girls say they wanted to have a baby with a white man so that it would be light skinned with light eyes and “good” hair. I just never understood it.

    Today, I don’t know if I’m more shocked that, that same mentally still exists here in the south, or to read that this same form of self-hatred exists(-ed) amongst other non-Caucasian races.

    Thanks, Kiran, for sharing and once again opening my eyes to someone else’s truth. :)

    • masalachica says:

      Senita,

      That’s terrible – you know, after 10th grade, I stopped taking lunch and just took straight back to back classes because I couldn’t handle lunch at Madison. It was brutal. You are right.

      As for the parents not letting their lighter skinned kids play with darker skinned kids – that’s really sad.

      I think no matter where you are, people want to create a class system of some sort. If they are too alike, they find different ways to create distinctions between themselves.

      Thanks for sharing your experiences. Love this.

      Kiran

  • Alison
    Twitter:
    says:

    Fair & Lovely sells here in Malaysia too!!!
    For us Chinese lasses, it was all about the eyes.
    Because apparently, our smaller, almond-shaped (some, even cat-like, or ‘slitty’ as some people call it) eyes, are not as good as the big, round ones of our Caucasian peers.
    Even now, in 2013, when babies are born, and they happen to have ‘big’ round eyes, there will be a few going, “Ooh, look at his/ her big eyes!”, like, wow, they’ll have a great life because they don’t have those awful small Chinese eyes!!
    Racists.
    And don’t even let me go into the whole double eyelid thing. People have surgeries to get double eyelids.
    And, and, and!
    Chinese people are also obsessed with being whiter. The whiter you are, the richer and higher in societal status you are. Or that’s the assumption. Bah.
    Alison recently posted…10 Truths I Learned In 3 Years Of Imperfect ParentingMy Profile

    • masalachica says:

      Alison – I didn’t realize they sell it in Malaysia! That’s terrible. It’s terrible anywhere – I can’t believe how blatant the commercials are too and the message it’s sending to kids. Incredible.

      I love my friends Asian eyes. A lot of my family have eyes that tilt up at the corners and probably show some Nepalese blood in our roots somewhere. I think they are beautiful.

      I can understand going in for surgery to get rid of a double chin. To add another eyelid?

      The standards on beauty in society have always been warped. I hope that we all start to love ourselves more. Actually, I hope that we are all taught more that we SHOULD love ourselves and some of these things should no longer be supported or promoted.

      Xo
      Kiran

  • 1stpeaksteve says:

    Hello from the white male!

    When I visit my quasi-semi-second’ish home in Brazil, I noticed the same thing. The actors appear to be Caucasian Americans that moved to Florida. The “darker” folks are the odd side kicks that also have a drug problem or are the nanny. Seems to run the same way in Telemundo as well.

    Well, there is revenge to be had on some of the older white males at least. Want to get that young secretary in the sack??? She may call you an old pervert when you try to grope her in the breakroom, but slap some Touch of Grey in your hair and voila! Mid-life crisis…here you come!

    • masalachica says:

      Hi Steve,

      It be me. Brown Cow.

      So, just kidding. It’s Kiran.

      We had a Brazilian Au Pair from the southern State of Brazil – Santa Catarina – where the folks tend to be more fair skinned and light eyed – heavily German and Italian in background. It felt like when people spoke about North vs.South Brazil – they were almost talking about two different countries.

      They seemed to define how people were based on state. It was really interesting for me to hear that kind of feedback but then I realize it’s not that different from how people look at each other in India.

      Kiran

      • 1stpeaksteve says:

        It is true about how the states view each other. My fiance is from the North East and the culture is completely different than the south. That is what really made the actors on Globo stand out more because the fans of the shows have a completely different reality and look as compared to the actors. I have friends from the south as well. After one world cup disaster, a friend of mine renounced being from Brazil and proclaimed that they were Italian since Italy won. Very European down there.

        I can see that with India as well. The north of India is radically different than the coastal areas in the south and you can get a bleed over from the peeps of the neighboring countries.

  • Lisa
    Twitter:
    says:

    Love this post. My daughter’s best friend is half African American, and I always love it when my daughter colors pictures of her “pretty brown skin.” She has asked me why she couldn’t have “pretty brown skin,” too. I see this as progress from not-so-distant times, for sure, acknowledging there is still a way to go. My dad likes to say that eventually, the whole world will be a lovely shade of tan. Oh, and I am pretty sure people pay to have cancer-inducing treatments to get the dark color you get from being in the sun for ten minutes…either that or they slather themselves with things that make them a bizarre shade of orange and glitter…the grass is always greener (or the skin is always better?) Glad you are loving the skin you’re in – like I said about your Minnie Mouse photo, it’s great skin ;)
    Lisa recently posted…Words, Words, WordsMy Profile

    • masalachica says:

      “My dad likes to say that eventually, the whole world will be a lovely shade of tan” – Lisa’s Dad.

      Lisa, your father is a wise man. I believe that too. I am so glad that our kids are seeing something very different from what we might have been exposed to.

      The world doesn’t need to be fair to be lovely, I hope that’s where we go.

      And will someone re-tell Snow White without that line?
      XO,
      Kiran

  • Dan says:

    Very thoughtful read.

    It’s funny. I was one of those white kids from a Brooklyn family that moved to the same town (Old Bridge), and my experience was the flip side of it. The three friends I kept in touch with after high school were Korean (John), Chinese (Frank) and Indian (Rajesh), all of whom were my college roommates at one point. My first friend I ever made in life is Argentine/Puerto Rican. My first girlfriend was Filipina, and we never stayed together in part because she was afraid to tell her parents about me (for more than a year) because I was white. My dark-skinned, dark-eyed, and dark-and-curly-haired grandparents used to tell me constantly to “get some sun” because I was too pale. And I married a Latina (Brazil).

    My proximity to first generation, dark-skinned (i.e. Asian, Carribean, etc.) immigrants in my youth in Old Bridge (and further north for my first 9 years of life in Bergen County, NJ) dramatically influenced who I became in life (as did the 1994 racial protests at Rutgers, but that’s a full blog post in its own right). But what’s funny is that some of those friends became my friends because we were all outcasts. For me, it was just having big glasses, really bad acne in high school (all gone since age 18, fortunately), an introverted temperament, and problems with conformity. For them, it was usually just being a minority.

    • masalachica says:

      Hi Dan. Thanks for the great response.

      I hadn’t realized that – that’s hard on you with your first girlfriend experience. I was in her situation the first time I dated someone, but too bad for my parents, I kind of broke them in about the idea that I was going to date and the guy might not be indian. It sucked and was a long battle of the wills, but I am glad i stayed firm on that for myself. Luckily, my parents never pulled back their love or anything, but I know that does happen in some families.

      I think it has less to do with being against you being white and more about the fear that the culture will be lost in some of those cases. I think so many parents ended up giving in on that one, that I would be surprised if your first girlfriend did end up with a Filipino when she married.

      When I was in second grade, my father bought me some books on Martin Luther King. And I read them, and was passionate about them, rereading them till they were worn thin. I think who I am had a lot to do with what I saw in my summers in India, my experiences as a minority in the States and the influence I had pretty early on in life about the teachings of Gandhi and MLK. I am grateful for whatever experiences I had, no matter how much I joke about them or how self-deprecating I can be about them.

      I may not be perfect, but one thing I will never be is racist, nor will I close my eyes to social injustice. I think, in the same way, you have been better off for your experiences and the boys you list as your friends then are all men I still respect today.

      Anyway – thanks for being part of the conversation here. I appreciate you!

      Kiran

      • Dan says:

        Oh, you’re definitely right, about the concern about losing the culture. My generation will be the last “legal” Jews in my family, because in Jewish law, that passes through the mother’s bloodline. (My dad was not Jewish, for example.) My cousin, brother and I all picked out gentiles. So I get that.

        Separate from that, growing up in (in OB’s case, what became) mixed towns gave me a picture of America that is different from what you get in, say, Nebraska. (I was often the only white kid in a group of friends. Naturally, being a basketball player only increased this.) And I’m very glad I did. Not that everyone NEEDS to be a different “color,” but that the different “colors” are part of what make America what it is. (Heck, our mixed president is the first one I thought ever really represented me.)

        (Postscript: That first girlfriend of mine married a white guy. Of course, he was a doctor. Typical! ;) )

  • Jennifer says:

    I think every culture has some kind of hang ups. Either you’re not “thin” enough, “white” enough, “blond” enough, whatever enough… I wish everyone would learn to embrace and appreciate people for who they are, and not how they look.
    Jennifer recently posted…The weight of threeMy Profile

  • AnneH says:

    Isn’t it funny that we always want what we can’t have! I’m very white and spent time in tanning beds to look browner! I was envious of anyone who would tan easily because I would instantly burn. I’m glad our world is becoming more accepting, but I think it’s human nature to compare ourselves to others and want what we can’t have. I always thought I would have had a more successful professional dancing career if I had darker skin and an exotic sounding last name.

    • Erika says:

      I know I’m more than late to this conversation, but I thank you for your post, AnneH. I’m about as “vanilla” as they come and grew up as the only white girl all through elementary and middle school in the DC metropolitan area. My fair skin and “bland” ethnicity were always an insecurity for me. Seems like human nature to want what you don’t have. If only we could appreciate all skin tones, eye colors, hair colors and textures. My toddler girl is alabaster with white blond hair and her “favorite baby” is dark skinned with black hair. I have to admit it made me a little giddy when she chose “favorite baby” (that’s actually what my daughter named the doll). I want her to feel confident and beautiful (as any mother wants for her child), while at the same time appreciating those who look different as being just as beautiful. Anyhow, I just wanted to thank you for your relatable comment.

  • ilene
    Twitter:
    says:

    Like Anne above, I have always wanted MORE color. Because I am so damn white! I used to do the tanning bed thing when I was younger, so now I am just white with premature wrinkles (sign). However, from cultural POV, this must have been a tough one, never feeling pretty enough because of your skin. I had the “not pretty enough” complex for other reasons, but not for not being “white.”

    Old Bridge – we would have been neighbors. I’m a Hazlet girl :)
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  • dixya
    Twitter:
    says:

    i remember those commercials..and some of my older cousins were obsessed with it and secretly put on my elbows and knees because i wanted it to match my skin- Although I was never or still not super fair- I had always liked my skin but I remember my grand mother making comments here and there when I played a lot outside.. and you must NOT miss this fair and handsome commercial http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MgBevCTBTJw
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  • I’m so disturbed by the thought of that Fair and Lovely cream! Is it bleach? Eeeek! The concept reminds me of a trend I read about recently of bleaching (of all skin tones, fair or not) down in the nether regions. We’ve lost our collective minds.

    I do agree with Jennifer that every culture has its hang-ups. I’m paying for my tanning when I was younger by having my dermatologist order that 3-4 suspicious moles per year be removed from my skin. And I’m paying for my culture’s continuous pressure to be thin by continuing to say horrible things to myself in my head.

    It’s like women are hard-wired for guilt or feelings of inadequacy, and advertisers have learned to prey on those feelings. Around the world, evidently. Great post.

  • Galit Breen
    Twitter:
    says:

    Oh Kiran,

    It’s so, so important that you wrote this, that you continue to write about this.

    I have no words and won’t pretend to know more, but I will share this is {disturbing} important post.

    xo
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  • Mary
    Twitter:
    says:

    Frightening and disturbing. With my olive skin and dark eyes, I got the same message growing up, just not as explicitly. I was considered “foreign” in my grade school. Scary. Thank you for sharing such an important story. Well done as always!
    Mary recently posted…Stay Strong and Scrub the ToiletsMy Profile

  • Manisha says:

    Another good one, Kiran. You have this wonderful ability to take potentially explosive topics and offer rather witty commentary. I have always liked my dark skin and have always been chastised by my mother for not trying to stay out of the sun. My sister stays out of the sun and i think she always looks sickly. My mother is also really excited to have such a light-skinned grandchild. I really, really hope the other grandchildren do not pick up on this!
    Manisha recently posted…Iron Craft: Orange You Glad…My Profile

    • masalachica says:

      Thanks, Manisha.
      I would get the same thing about the sun. I could have been “gauri,” my mother would say, “if only I tried!” It’s funny, I did marry a non-Indian, but he is darker than me and my kids are darker than I was! No matter, that cycle will be broken here. When they were first born, there was some, “oh wow, he’s dark!” and stuff like that – especially re: Nico and not just from my family. But, you know – whatever! They will have a totally different experience than we did because we will make sure of that, right?
      xo,
      Kiran

  • LisaAR
    Twitter:
    says:

    I have hopes that this generation will see skin color as hair color–a part of who a person is, but little more than that. It’s funny how I’ve learned things on this topic from people of various darker-skinned ethnicities (like what “high yellow” means, etc.) and then there is the whole realm of white people darkening up in tanning booths! No one is happy. Well, as a half-Italian girl, I brown up every summer and hear from some of my friends how “lucky” I am. Our world is funny. I’m sorry you ever had to feel anything but beautiful with your lovely skin color, because it is lovely indeed.
    LisaAR recently posted…A Hairy DecisionMy Profile

  • Mercy says:

    I doubt those creams really work. I’m white, but of course I’ve got dark spots on my face, probably from years in the sun with no sunscreen. I tried the Garnier lightening cream just to see if it would make a difference but alas, no change after a month (and they promise results in 7 days). :(
    My kids are Anglo-Indian with very light skin. They do tan nicely and look more like their dad in the summer, but here in south India people think they are not Indian, since Tamilians are very dark skinned. You should see the looks I get when people ask them where they are from and they say “India”. (And they are. All 3 born here.) They have brown hair and brown eyes, but unlike the locals, my girls have curls, real curls that everyone lusts after.
    I just wonder how people will see them when we move to Canada.
    Mercy recently posted…Move Progress UpdateMy Profile

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MEET KIRAN
I'm Kiran, I'm a dreamer. A writer. A singer. A mother. An ugly crier. An Indian-American. Who loves Gandhi. My stories are full of truth that is sometimes hard for me to say out loud. This blog is where I overcome my fears and live (and love) out loud. Read More....
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