In my culture, the ideal woman is also light-skinned.
In school, I’d be called ‘black’ or ‘too dark’. At home, I’d be chided by my own relatives when I was in the sun too long. Even in my 20s, my peers negatively regard the word ‘tan’. I’ve personally always loved my skin color – but your environment teaches you to think otherwise.
We don’t realize how unhealthy constant comparison is – something we do on a daily, even minutely basis. We’re taught to believe that there’s one kind of ‘bikini body’, one kind of ‘beauty ideal’. Every country has its own construct of what’s beautiful and if we don’t fit that to a tee, we feel that we’re not good enough, not beautiful enough. We feel that we have to alter ourselves to fit into that mould. I felt exactly like that, I had a very unhealthy relationship with my body and I abused it.