Tell me about yourself.
Nancy: My name is Nancy and I am from India. I work in Marketing and love makeup, skin care, and networking with like-minded women. As a blogger, I have met so many amazing women!
What is your side hustle?
Nancy: I blog on Instagram. I started my blog to discuss brown skin related issues in beauty and fashion and to celebrate brown skin without the IF’s and BUT’s. We don’t have enough of this in India. People from south India are darker and don’t fit in with Indians from the north who are lighter skinned. In India, taking care of your skin is directly associated with skin bleaching. I started my blog to dispel that notion and show that darker skinned women can use skin care products and love their skin color. People assume I use sunscreen because I don’t want to get darker when in reality sunscreen is essential to protect from the sun's rays. Taking care of your skin doesn't mean you are trying bleach. People have a tough time understanding me because I am dark and confident. They think I should have low self-esteem.
What are your beauty struggles?
Nancy: My underarms have always been darker than the rest of my body. I used to never lift my arms up and didn’t start wearing sleeveless clothing until I turned 23. I suffer from Pityriasis Rosacea and hyperpigmentation around my mouth and this took a huge toll on my confidence. I also struggle to find beauty products. I have completely written off Indian brands because they don’t offer any foundations in my shade. If you aren’t NW45 or lighter, you won’t find a single product. This is why I only use brands that cater to women of color. It costs more to ship US products to me, but I would rather pay more to support brands that support me. In India, people only accept women who are as dark as Beyonce and Rihanna. Teachers in school even promote eurocentric beauty standards. I see women walking around with foundation that is 3 to 4 shades lighter than their skin tone because those are the darkest shades offered.
What does beauty mean?
Nancy: Beauty is loving yourself. You can have everything in the world and still not love yourself. Beauty is taking care of yourself, mentally and physically.
Do you think beauty is political for women of color?
Nancy: Yes, it is! Women of color receive less pay in the workplace. People get put down by their own families because they don't look "acceptable" (read lighter skinned). I used to hear you are pretty for a dark skin woman. Nowadays, it makes people uncomfortable when dark skin people are confident because they know they no longer have power over them.
What is your self-care routine?
Nancy: I follow a pretty strict skincare routine, morning and evening. I try to do a full body routine. I used to love k-beauty but it has become a fetish for Korean women to be milky white. So I switched over to brands like Shea Moisture. I love listening to music by myself. Anytime I need a pick me up, I listen to Everywhere by Fleetwood Mack. Apart from my skincare routine, I consciously try to extend the positivity I find and spread on Instagram, IRL. If I find myself discussing something negative, I stop and change the topic. If I have nothing positive to add, I stay out of the conversation.
As a woman of color, what do you want the beauty industry to know?
Nancy: They need to stop using people of color as tokens in ad campaigns when they don't offer products for our skin tone. If brands don't want to provide products for us well then we won't buy from them. Women of color deserve more beauty options. Women in India can't even be successful Youtubers because there are no products for them to test or showcase for their subscribers. We have one beauty store in India and they never offer the darker shades although most people in India are dark. There is a huge market but no options. The beauty industry should also include men in the conversation. In India, people make men feel bad if they talk about colorism even though they deal with it as well.
Keep up with Nancy on her journey: