M - Make Up


My parents are dark, so if I was born with a fairer complexion, it would have triggered more suspicion than joy. Yet, I was ridiculed for not being fair. I remember a cousin of mine placing her hand next to mine and asking me to notice the difference. I just stared blankly while she roared with laughter. I did not feel bad for myself. I was wondering what was she laughing about. What was she seeing that I couldn't? Obviously there was a difference in the color of both our hands. But what is so great about it? Should I be concerned or depressed, I did not understand. I knew that she was trying to mock me. Some people feel good about themselves only when they put others down, so I let it be. I was about eight years old at that time. Twenty years later, that incident still remains fresh in my mind.

As a teenager, I had a terrible case of acne. I knew it was a passing phase, so I did not bother to do much about it. But the people around me never let me be. Everyone from aunties to neighbors came up with remedies for pimples. I remember a particular relative (not sure how we are related), who always used to ask me what I was doing for my damaged skin. She always asked this in front of a group of at least six people who stared into my face like I was a mutant with seven pairs of eyes. I was angry of course, but my parents had taught me to respect elders, so I kept quiet. I believe most of the growing up, mentally, happens during your teens. And with people like this around you, who make you feel like dirt, it is very hard to feel good about yourself. I did not take it too much to my heart. I decided to not turn into some one like her instead. Till date if I meet someone with zits on their face or anywhere else, I do not ridicule them or advise them. I just let them be.


I turn twenty eight in four months, yet I'm battling acne. Chicken Pox during my teens has left deep scars on my cheeks. And the rest of it is ruined with PCOS. Hormones are creating havoc within me and ruining my skin or whatever is left of it. You'd think that I would be depressed? Actually no. It does not matter to me at all. I'm going through some condition and the acne is because of that. I have accepted that and I know that someday it will all be gone. I can easily get all of it cleared up by going under the knife and almost instantly. I make more than enough money for that too. But I choose not too. I like flaws and scars. They remind me of my journey and my struggles. That keeps me grounded. 


I discovered make-up in my early twenties. They helped me hide my scars and bumps. And the people who were ridiculing me before suddenly started appreciating me. Some even asked for tips. I wanted to laugh my ass off. That was my introduction to vanity. In parlors I see almost white people coming for bleaches, some coming for de-tanning, some coming for skin lightening, some coming for some magic facial that will make your skin squeaky clean. I do not do any of that. I am happy with my own flawed skin. All I need is some make-up that would give me necessary coverage and make me look good. To others. For me, I look awesome the way I am and I'm happy to carry these scars with me. The same people who advised me on anti-pimple tips, now comment wonderful things on my photographs. They think that I have turned beautiful magically, but the truth is something else altogether. And they, still remain fools.

I am a narcissist. Experiences have made me so. I know I have the confidence to walk out tomorrow exposing my zits and scars. But today, I am not prepared to answer the questions that would come my way. When I was young I had learnt to respect elders. I do not think so anymore. No one can demand respect just because of their age. Today I would not avoid the question or be quiet about it. I will speak out my mind and it would only cause rifts. Probably that's why I have made make-up my second skin. A little concealer and powder and I feel sorted. And some kajal and I'm ready to roar. There are also those sets of people who mock others who use make-up to look and feel good. Of course not everyone is blessed enough to have wonderful blemish free skin. If you are blessed then well, good for you. Else, let the others do what they want to do.


I choose make-up over a surgery because that is what I want to do. I want to be reminded of my flaws every day when the make-up comes off. I do not want to turn into a vain person or believe that beauty rules the world. I have had handsome men fall madly in love with me irrespective of my skin troubles. Not everyone finds a girl who embraces her flaws. They liked that. My husband today loves me the way I am and understands my issues. People might make fun of me for wearing make-up everyday. I do not care. I shall do what I want to do. Because I know my problems and I also know that they will not understand it. I do not hide my flaws because I am insecure about myself or it affects my self esteem. The person I am resides inside of me and it has nothing to do with my skin or the make-up. I hide them to shut the mouths of other people. Earlier, I was naive enough to be mocked and ridiculed. Today I'd rather not give a chance for any of it. 


You can think that I'm being a hypocrite here, you are free to think so.

~ Soumya

27 comments:

  1. I am also dark, and made to feel so by tens of hundreds of people, all incidents still frsh ion my mind, conbated serious inferiority complex in my teenage, had and still fighting acne. Somehow for some supremely educated people also, the color of the skin matters more than anything else ! And people around me still make me feel inferior because of my skin, and the pangs of old complex still brushes me by, but my husband doesnt see what they are seeing. And thats why I chose him.

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    1. God bless our husbands! And all the other people have a special place in hell reserved for them.

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  2. Well, I used to have mixed feelings about make-up. I do confess that I used to think of girls who used make-up as trying to be fake. But I was so wrong. I realized that along the way and corrected my opinion. I did try out make-up and use it but don't have the patience to use it everyday. Besides I don't have that much of a need too. There is nothing wrong in using make-up unless one goes overboard with it. Too much of anything might turn against the purpose.

    Of course,make-up should enhance or enable like in your case and not change a person like so many other unfortunate cases.

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    1. I'm glad your opinions changed. You are lucky that you have no much of a need for it :)

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  3. I want to apply make-up but I suck at doing it myself...When my sister does it I feel so good..And there's nothing wrong in applying it...We should only remember that we love ourselves the way we are no?

    M for Motherly-Random Thoughts Naba

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    1. Completely! We should just do whatever we want to :)

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  4. my husband is dark complexioned and im wheatish, so my first born was naturally on the darker side.....would u believe it, when my MIL first saw the child in the hospital, the first thing she said was, aiyyooo the child is so dark, my daughter's child is so fair......u know what i wanted to do at that precise moment? i'm not telling!!!!

    i don't use make up much, except for kajal.....i like the way i am... i tell myself, i have more protection against skin cancers than fair people ( did u know this is true?) :) :)

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    1. Hahaha! I know a lot of MILs who have used this very line ;)

      Its true? Wow, yay to us!! :)

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  5. I am 21 and trust me if I stood next to you I'd look elder. I guess late night project reports and physics books do that to people. But as you said there is no harm in making up, I can pour some light base on my face and apply a light tone of make up as I leave home. And when I get back at home and sit with my books after washing my face- I know the person I am and the person I want to be. And I wouldn't give up on it even if I looked more aged then I already do now. Make up isn't as overrated as is defined by the people with blessed natural beauty.

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    1. Oh God bless you my dear! I'm so glad you have understood this at such an young age. I know people your age going under the knife to remove a mole or a scar. Its freaky!

      Just love yourself! Do not care about the world! :)

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  6. This post deserves a standing ovation! Thank you for having the courage to not only live the life you want to, but also to write about it. :-)

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    1. Thank you so so so much Raajii. :)

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  7. We share a lot of similarity. I too had a friend in junior school and she always did that..comparing her white skin to my brown skin and mocking me shamelessly. And then came the acne phase when people (read velli aunties) are really insensitive to our woes. But in the end what matters is to feel proud of what we have grown into. And I really do! :)

    I don't know much about make up. Just kohl works for me.

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    1. I'm so proud of you! :)

      You look beautiful already! :)

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  8. You know.. now this is depressing but its ok... I have troubling climbing stairs. So just to avoid questions, I always climb last so that less people notice. It is not about hiding who you are... it is just about saving yourself the trouble to explain a million times. All of us have our flaws... dark skin and acne is no flaw... just like you may think my weakness is no flaw... but in our heart we make a big deal out of it. I would blame it on our society for doing this to us!
    Wear whatever you want to... just look hot, babe!! We owe it to that mirror ;)

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    1. Society indeed. Like always, it remains the mail culprit.

      Hahaha, totally agree ;)

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  9. I learnt long ago that it is the character that makes the person and not the skin. A valuable lesson.

    On another note, I could hardly tell from ANY of your photos that you have more make up than just kajal. Wow :O

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    1. Very valuable. Its all about the person under the pan cake.

      Really? Wow, I guess it does take make up to look natural at times :)

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  10. That was an EXACT incident in my life when a fairer cousin used to match our hands and laugh.I wasn't that strong those days.I used to weep and call out Mom. I had almost 90% of people reminding me that I have dusky complexion .They still Do.

    It only shows how small their hearts are..and how ugly they are inside. I am learning to ROAR but still ain't that strong..Shared this post with a friend of mine who is heart broken for her scars .I'm sure it will help her :)

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    1. Never let them make you feel inferior. Dusky skin is any day sexier than pale white skin. May God bless you with more strength and I'm sure you would start roaring soon!

      Aww that's sweet. I hope it helps :)

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  11. Soumya???? Amazing Character, luv it.........

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  12. I used to wear glasses despite having very less power and all because of my bad bad dark circles/hyperpigmentation that I got as heredity form my Dad.My parents would tell me 'Take off those glasses so that people get to see your eyes. Many wear lens to get your colour and here you are hiding them'. They did not know how when I removed them, I was mocked.
    Then I found out about this thing called Corrector and concealer and boy, you wont even realize that I have dark circles! :D
    Makeup does give you confidence whenyou cannot find it elsewhere!

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    1. Exactly! People don't get that still.

      I totally love your eyes! :D

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  13. I'm struggling with the acne due to PCOS too. Initially I went made trying to hide the acne scars and what not. Now I dont really give a second thought to it. In fact I would use the compact everyday too but then I stopped that too.
    Ps complexion is the most over rated thing I think.

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    1. Complexion and beauty too is over rated. I'm glad you let go.

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