Having a Darker Complexion

圖/黃鼻子…from the papers

The process of slowly, and finally, accepting the self, translated…

Mom told me, that as I was born, I was, like, this red ball of flesh, she’d originally thought, that the redness of my skin will fade off as I got to one-month old, but, it’d not, changed from red to white, instead, my skin became, darker even, and so, the nickname, “Dark-Skinned” tagged along as I aged.

Although I was raised in southern Taiwan, where the weather was always like the summertime all year long, I’d never actually, basked in the radiant sun, instead, I’d put on my hat, my face mask, and a coat, because my mother carried the values of “a pale complexion is going to mask everything awful”, and I wasn’t, allowed, to wear any shorts either. Whether it be cold or hot, sunny or rain, I’d needed to, be underneath an umbrella constantly, and, constantly reapplying the sunscreens, so I don’t become, even darker.

Although my mother put so much thought into it, it’d still not changed the fact that “I’m naturally dark-skinned”. I’d received a love letter from someone it had, “So-and-So, although you are a native, but I still like you, a lot………”, seeing the beginning of this love letter, it’d made me not know how to respond, and, I’d not managed, to read through his well-written love note to me; and, because of basic courtesy, I’d, wrote him back, using just TWO key points: first, I’m NOT a native, second, it’s, INDIGENOUS people, and naturally, I’d, managed to, silence the guy.

tanned skin tone, photo from online…

In my university career, my darker shade of skin had, caused a ton of thing to happen. One time I was delivering an oral presentation, I’d stuttered, because of how nervous I was, the professor asked me, “Are you from the Philippines?”, I’d replied, with this look of shock on my face, “No.”, the professor replied, “Oh, sorry, I see that you’re so dark, and, that you can’t seem to speak Chinese fluently, I just, assumed…”, right at the moment, I’d, wanted to DIG a hole in the floor, and HIDE in it, and, all the classmates sitting in their seats were, laughing so hard then.

But, my darker complexion did give me an interesting encounter too. It’d happened, in Yosemite National Park, as I was, getting intoxicated by the beautiful scenery, an American older woman walked up toward me, smiled so radiantly, and asked, “You have such a beautiful skin-tone, may I ask, where did you get tanned?”, I’d become, dazed, did she just, compliment me on my skin-tone? I was, surprised, with that scent of ecstasy, after we’d carried on in conversation for a short bit, I’d finally confirmed, that this American “auntie” with the paler complexion I’d envied for so very long, is envying my darker complexion, which most Asians try to not get. The twisted hands of fate, I suppose!

With this dark shade of “outer covering”, I’d, become a wife, then a mother now, and, my mindset about my darker complexion went from feeling ashamed and embarrassed of how I looked, to being able to, poke fun at myself, to entertain others now. And, this natural born quality of mine had, brought along some wonderful things in life to me too: while other people are bothered by how their skins started flaking off from being tanned too hard, my darker complexion became a protection for me; and, as everybody is going to the clinics, to get rid of their age spots, I’d not had this trouble either, because my darker skin had, kept all my age spots covered up.

the varied shades of complexions, photo from online…

In the end, it was, my husband, who wasn’t into the “beautiful color skins”, he’d told me, “although having paler complexion is prettier, but, being beautiful on the outside pales by comparison to being beautiful on the inside, so, you are, a ‘dark beauty’!”, and I have, NO more complaints about my complexion, after he’d fed me this claims of his love towards me.

So, this, is the process of how a woman went from disliking herself because of her darker complexion, to finally, learning to, appreciate her own complexion, to loving herself, and, it’s, not an easy process to go through, because the characteristic you’re trying to hide, is so apparent, on the outside, and her husband was right to, having a BEAUTIFUL heart, beats ANYTHING!


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