Name: Shivani Shah
Lives: New Jersey, USA
“I grew up in a Gujarati Jain family where most of my female cousins were tall and fair skinned.
I was petite and darker skinned.
I remember being constantly compared to others in my family. It made me feel insecure for a long time. I was told I should drink more regular milk and perhaps that will magically make me taller or fairer. However, I preferred the taste of chocolate milk.
In high school, I would wear green colored contacts, dye my hair brown and wear 3-inch heels.
I was trying so hard to be accepted by others, that I lost myself. As I grew older, I learned what mattered most was who I was as a person inside vs. superficial attributes.
In my journey of self-love, I learned to appreciate my physical appearance. I embraced all 5-feet of me and my caramel brown skin.
I am proud of the woman I have become and hope to inspire other young girls to learn to love themselves.