Embracing my Indian-Tamil heritage

Where ever you are in the world, there is a societal pressure to look a certain way because there was only one beauty standard, however, over the years beauty has been evolving and that one stubborn standard is slowly diminishing.

Growing up, my cultural ethnicity was the minority and I found it difficult to “fit in”. Typically as an Indian girl, I was hairy! I had thick hair on my arms and on my legs and honestly, I was probably one of the hairiest girls in my class, but when you’re in primary school it doesn’t really bother you – until someone points it out. I remember one of the girls said, “your arms are so hairy” and some people would even laugh at my really thick eyebrows. I felt so insecure, I wore long sleeves regardless of the season, I would look away as much as I could so people wouldn’t look at my face while they spoke to me and I hated my picture being taken, all because I never saw anything to be beautiful about me, other than what people told me.

Fast forward to the age of 16. Around this time, I had my eyebrows threaded. I was familiar with makeup, but I couldn’t wear my make up like other girls. I didn’t need to wear fake tan, I didn’t bleach my hair blonde and I didn’t wear bright pink blush on my cheeks.

Instead, I remember coming home and looking at my mum. My mother never left the house without her eyeliner on. That’s one thing I noticed, a lot of Indian women wore eyeliner.

That was the first step I took that set me apart from every other girl at my school. I wore top eyeliner. Let me tell you now, it was a pain in the ass to find the right eyeliner. I tried gel, pencil and various brushes. I practised applying it A LOT. But, after that, I changed my make up routine completely. I wore bronzer on my cheeks apart from blush, I wore top eyeliner instead of heavy mascara. I was finally being me. I was comfortable and I felt beautiful.

Later, I broke the stereotype of Indian girls always having long hair. I will always regret doing this, but, I cut 7 inches of my hair off and I rocked an asymmetrical bob for 3 years and my dad hated it.

I didn’t let my Tamil-Indian heritage define me and constrict me, instead, I used it to my advantage I moulded all the traditional ways into new modern ways, and surprisingly, I had a positive response back. Yeah, sure I was still known to be a “coconut”, but I was happy.

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Looking at these pictures, all I’m thinking is.. THERE IS HOPE!

Hope you liked this!

Nisha x

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