I am from a small town in Karnataka. Being a Kannadiga, especially in my community, a girl is considered to be beautiful only if she is fair and curvy unlike in other parts of the country where girls starve to become thin. But unlike my other friends, I am dusky, tall and thin.
Despite being from a small town, my parents were open-minded and modern in my growing up years. I had all the freedom I wanted. Even though you hardly saw girls wearing jeans around at that time, I could wear whatever I wanted to wear.
I never felt out of place; not even once did I feel bad about my physique or complexion until I turned 13. That was the age when I joined a co-ed school. I was always an outgoing person and I had a lot of close friends. Most of these friends were dating and I was always the one left alone.
No one ever came and asked me out because I was dark and unattractive. I still didn’t care as I was doing really well academically and my parents were proud of me.
Things changed drastically for me when my friends started bullying me for being dark. When I wore a dress or jeans, they told me I looked horrible because I had flat breasts. I used to get so upset but I never told my parents. I lost all my confidence; I stopped wearing jeans and skirts.
I slowly lost all my friends. They say, certain wounds never heal and this sure was one of them. When I topped my 12th standard exams all my “friends” were recovering from breakups. I never felt like staying in touch with them after we left school. I get their updates from Facebook.
I am much happier now. As for my school friends: one of them recently got divorced, another one is struggling to get her engineering degree, another one just had her fourth break up.
I am not cursing them but I just want to tell everyone that appearances don’t matter. Just believe in yourself and success will be all yours. Right now, I am pursuing my part-time Ph.D. while working at one of the top engineering colleges in India.
I also married the love of my life a year ago.