Hi beautiful people!I’ve spent the last month and a half in southern India. With several more months until I come back to the States, I’ve developed a need to cultivate certain spaces to sustain me. One of those spaces I’ve needed is more visual representation of dark-skinned South Asians. I know there’s more of us than who I see in the mirror every day, although the constant multiple media images I’m now surrounded by would have me believing otherwise. After asking around, I still could not find any space that celebrated positive images of dark-skinned South Asians. Refusing to feel defeated, I made my own. And I need your help.
- Could you please spread the word of Dark, Lovely & South Asian (http://darklovelyandsouthasian.tumblr.com)? on Facebook? on your blog? on Twitter?
- If you’re on Tumblr, could you please follow the blog? And reblog this post?
- Would you please forward this e-mail to others you know, especially to other dark-skinned South Asians?
- If you identify as a dark-skinned South Asian, would you mind submitting something to firstname.lastname@example.org or via tumblr (link & more information below)?Audre Lorde said, “If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive.” I refuse to be crunched into other people’s dehumanizing fantasies about me. I refuse to be eaten alive. I am a dark-skinned South Asian who is more than lovely. Please support us in cultivating images, voices and stories that document that there’s more of us than who we see in the mirror every day. Deep gratitude to those I’ve been in conversation with about what I’ve been experiencing here. Advance gratitude to you for your support.
Are you dark, lovely and South Asian?
While I’ve dealt with colorism all my life, it wasn’t until I spent more than just a few weeks in India that colorism became more painful than ever before. It’s incredibly intense to be surrounded by multiple forms of media images with light-skinned South Asians as the only representation of what is beautiful. The contrast between those images and the reality of whom I was surrounded by was as wide as the oceans that separated my ancestral land from my birthplace. I could find numerous articles confirming colorism/shadeism in South Asia, but I could not find spaces that celebrated positive images of dark-skinned South Asians. And damnit, we deserve to be celebrated. We all need your support by submitting your photos, voices and stories to cultivate this space of positive images of us and people like us.
Who is South Asian?
Typically, anyone who has ancestry that traces back to Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Maldives, Bhutan and India. As borders are all human-made and the area has a long history of forced migration, it’s up to you to figure out how you self-identify.
Who is dark-skinned?
For this, I borrow from http://fuckyeahdarkgirls.com/skintone: “The dark skin tone like every other skin tone has the tendency to appear as different shades of their tone. In the case of dark skinned people: dark brown, light brown, medium toned brown etc… depending on the lighting of the picture. So to those who constantly query the tone of the people on this blog please know that the people can appear to be many tones of dark brown in regards to photos.” There are photo examples you can see by going to the link. I edited fuckyeahdarkgirls’ description to be gender-neutral as dark-skinned South Asians of all genders are encouraged to submit.
What to submit?
I truly think visuals are important to remind all of us that we do exist. That could be photos or video, in addition to words describing yourself in whatever way that means. You may also submit photos of dark-skinned South Asian celebrities/public figures. To submit via email, please send to email@example.com