As I am 0n maternity leave these days, I try to fill my days visiting friends and family. Chhori loves it when we go out and meet people. It keeps her happy and makes my days pass quicker.
On one of these visits, I decided to visit one of my friends as I hadn’t seen her for a while. She and her husband are both from Nepal and have two daughters, 4 years and 2 years so it was a perfect play time for Chhori. We planned to catch up at her place so I drove there with Chhori.
I was having a great day with the girls as they were excited to play with Chhori and they had a million questions about her, which was too cute. I was seeing Chhori’s future in them. Both the girls were happy to share their toys and food with Chhori.
As it was afternoon, the younger of the girls was sleepy so my friend took her inside for nap. I was left with her 4 years old and Chhori and we were playing and talking when the following conversation stopped my heart for a while. Let me call the 4 year old Maiya for this post.
Me: “I love your long hair, so pretty, who braided it?” (I was just trying to make small talk)
Maiya: “I don’t like my black hair and I don’t like my skin either. I love Rosie and she is my best friend because she has white skin and blonde hair.”
Thinking it was just a conversation, I continued,
Me: “I actually like your skin, so soft and nice and also like your hair too as it is black and long like mine, your mums and Chhori’s too. Look at us we all look so similar because of our black hair.”
Maiya: “No aunty, blonde hair and white skin are beautiful and I am going to have them too. I want to be a beautiful princess.“
Me: “You are already beautiful my darling and you are a princess.“
Maiya: “But all my favourite princesses have blonde hair and white skin. Also all my favourite people in the world have them too like Rosie, S aunty (her mum’s SIL who is Swedish).”
I really had no reply her comments because she seemed to have them deeply carved in her mind. We live in Sydney where there are lots of white folks with blonde hair, we give her toys with similar features and she also watches cartoons and reads book where most of the time beautiful princess are white with blonde hair.
Later I spoke to my friend and she said that is her normal conversation. Maiya loves white skin so much that she asks her mum every day when she will be white like Rosie. She is not even dark, she is fair with big beautiful eyes and long black hair. But for her, beauty is not in black hair or brown skin.
I am sure I will be facing similar situations once Chhori grows up and I don’t know how to deal with it. I am sure all of you out there have faced similar situations with your own kids, please share how you deal with it. At times I am scared of the future when we have to deal with so many questions from Chhori and we will be lost for answers.
Thanks everyone in advance and see you soon with another post.
M from nepaliaustralian