Permanent Brown

The deep colour of sun-kissed skin, the black hair, the beautiful dark eyes, it was always so intoxicating. My classmates were all so beautiful, the whites of their teeth seemed to ping with whiteness when they smiled, their eyelashes were long and full, and their skin was an incredible contrast to the whites of their eyes.

In contrast, I was pasty white, freckle specked, with light auburn hair that feathered out under the humidity. My eyelashes were white blonde, my eyes light blue, my mouth light pink, my teeth seemed to blend in with the paleness of my skin. My skin, oh my skin, I hated the colour. I wanted desperately to have beautiful brown skin that turned darker under the tropical sun, instead of an intense red under an SPF 30. I wanted to have cute black shiny hair that draped down my back even under the intense humidity.

I vowed, I vowed never to look in the mirror unless I absolutely had to. I prayed, just like the head master taught us, I prayed and prayed that my skin would turn golden brown (yeah, I didn’t quite understand biology at the age of 10), nothing seemed to work. No matter how hard I knelt down to pray, I would wake up, and my skin was the same shade of translucent white.

I learned that carrots could possibly change your skin colour, so I started a regimen of eating as many carrots as possible a day. I would feel sick, but would keep eating. I guess I didn’t eat enough, because my skin didn’t change.

Nobody ever told me my skin was beautiful, why would they, I was white, and while I prayed for dark skin, the mother’s of all of my peers were bleaching their skin. I had what everyone else wanted, but nobody ever told me my skin was beautiful.

I sat in my bedroom, dreaming of the day that I could have dark hair and dark skin, I thought I would be more beautiful. I then got this brilliant idea, I ran to my desk, I started on my hand and worked my way up, I worked as quickly as possible, getting so excited, it was working. my very translucent skin was turning a beautiful shade of brown. I looked down so excited, but how will I do my face?

Just as I was contemplating looking in the mirror, my Father came in with our dog, my dog looked at me and groaned, my Father took one look at me and burst out laughing. Tears welled up, I didn’t know why he was laughing. I quickly ran to the mirror in the bathroom, and saw what looked like a dirty Mr. Potato head looking back at me. I had used a permanent brown marker on my arms and chest. I had zig zags, and what looked like tire tracks all over me. The only thing I could do, was burst out laughing.

My Father, bless his heart, didn’t bother asking why I did what I did, but called the school to let them know I was “praying” at home for the day.

Sometimes, you gotta laugh at the things you so desperately wanted.

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