A message to the Auntie's by Henna Valli
Henna's poem relates to her South Asian background. She challenged beauty standards in the culture by addressing Aunties who pressure young women to fit into Eurocentric beauty standards.
This poem inspires women to embrace our features, not disregard them, be called out about them or shamed for them.
For many years our South Asian aunties have contributed to our low self esteem
"You're too dark", "Avoid the sun", "Have you heard of fair & lovely?"
Disgusting how my skin tone will apparently decide how much someone loves me.
Let's not forget about the constant commentary on weight loss and weight gain
But Aunty herself isn't the weight standard she pressures us to obtain
"I have this diet for weight loss, do you want me to send it to you?"
Aunty focus on your own weight, I could say a few things, don't mind if I do..
To you I am too skinny, too fat, too dark or too tall
But have you seen yourself? You are not perfect, as far as I can recall
See the truth is that these beauty standards you follow are made up..
Of all your insecurities, you don't feel European enough
These Eurocentric beauty standards don't apply to all
They don't even apply to all Europeans so how can you make people feel so small
By not meeting these standards, you've created in your head
You're ruining a generation, from all the words you have said
See, we are a whole different culture, our features aren't all the same
Aunties, learn to love and embrace those features, instead of hiding with shame.