This 18-Year-Old Wrote A 'Brown Girls' Guide To Beauty,' Encouraging Us To 'Love All Shapes And Shades'

"We're all more than our coloration and body types."

There are numerous ways we can deliver important messages. Some do it with videos, while others use viral campaigns. Then there are those who utilize peaceful protests or petitions. For Aranya Johar, her preferred medium is poetry.

The 18-year-old's spoken word poems have tackled issues such as the taboos surrounding menstruation and gender discrimination. For her latest piece, "The Brown Girl's Guide to Beauty," she is addressing rigid beauty standards.

UnErase Poetry posted the video of Johar performing the poem July 7, and it is moving people from India and around the world.


Johar begins by revealing how she has been applying "fairness creams" since the age of 9, and how every face wash has felt like a "slap in the face" because she had a skin tone that was considered "ugly." She gives examples of Indian magazine covers, which only ever feature light-skinned women with European features.

Johar says she wasn't the only one in her family impacted by unrealistic expectations imposed by society. She says a male family member went on a juice diet and starved himself in an effort to get chiseled abs that he'd seen on magazine covers.

"We forget that beauty for men comes at at a cost. I'd ask for a penny for your thoughts, but I heard being healthy is wealthy and both we've lost."

The slam poet's next verses discuss how we sometimes perpetuate these rigid beauty standards by adhering to them and even encouraging others to do the same. She also points out how many men try to change themselves in private because being insecure is often considered a sign of weakness.

Instead of continuing such unhealthy cycles, Johar is promoting fairness and compelling us to take action to write our own stories.

"Forget Snow White, say hello to chocolate brown, I'll write my own fairy tale," she proclaims.

She ends by encouraging us to love ourselves so we can then love others, "There isn't a single person who isn't pulled apart by these expectations ... We're all more than our coloration and body types."

"... It's time we realize love comes in all shapes and shades. It's time we love all shapes and shades."

(H/T: Popsugar)


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