By Lydia Marsha | A Dark is Beautiful campaigner

“You don’t have to be model to inspire people that dark is beautiful, you can be a role model everyday in your life just by being yourself” – Lydia Marsha

Words can hurt. I get teased for being dark skinned even now, at 25. Relatives do not see how I feel when they compare me with my siblings: “they are Fair and beautiful. You are Dark but beautiful.” It takes a lot of strength to overcome the small, insignificant word like “but.”

I once hated myself so much that I would hurt myself for being born with dark skin. I was ashamed to smile thinking that I might scare people. I had no confidence at all.

It broke my heart when my niece, a beautiful dark skinned child told me that she believes she is not beautiful and that she was being teased in school for being dark skinned.
This prejudice starts at our own homes. My aunt is looking for a fair skinned bride to marry her dark skinned son, primarily for fair progeny. I want this mentality to stop! I want to give the generation to come a chance to be their own judge and jury of beauty!
I enrolled in modeling to inspire dark skinned women especially in Malaysia to be proud of themselves. It is a difficult road for me as dark skinned models are not preferred in Malaysian media industry. But I will live my dream on my terms. I will inspire change!
Lydia Marsha is currently completing her B.A. in Professional Communication in Lim Kok Wing University, Malaysia. She is a freelance photographer specialized in children photography. She enjoys reading novels and watching inspirational movies on women’s empowerment.
A special shout-out to photographer Rose Marie from Rosiegraphie. Thanks, Rosie, for the great pics! 
– Dark is Beautiful Team