“Stay in the shade – you don’t want to get Kala!” – a phrase most Indian women are probably familiar with, usually uttered by a mum or aunty terrified that you’ll become dark and no one will want to marry you. Normal people slather on suntan lotion, terrified about getting skin cancer.
Remember going home and realising I was hungry. Two options – starve or eat with a fork and risk weird looks from your dad.
HAIR, HAIR EVERYWHERE
Okay, so not all Indian women are ‘hairy’ but the majority of us are. Legs, armpit, face, feet, hands you name it, there will be a very dark sprout of hair in that area. Thankfully we’ve moved away from the Jolene bleach phase and there are lots of ways to remove it permanently! But if you’re aged between 11 and 14 years be prepared for the jokes.
HAIR DRIPPING IN OIL
Miraculous treatment that Indian aunties believe can cure any and every hair related problem. Want your hair to grow? Oil! Started getting greys? Oil! Hair falling out? Oil! And it’s never too early to start this hair loss/greying prevention. Asian mums will slather the stuff usually the one with the most pungent smell on their darling offspring from the age of three. Let’s just say the school years are not kind
In my youthful naivety, I would regularly stock up on L’Oreal Color Riche hair dye in ‘chocolate brownie’ to get that coveted lighter shade. Little did I know that the process of lightening pitch black hair would a) involve bleaching and b) a lot of hours and money spent on a salon chair. The L’Oreal packet lied to us guys! You cannot go lighter from a home hair colourant, it just leaves you with stinky hair.