A Crucial Message to All Brown Women and Girls

crucialmessage(Art by Misbah Ahmed)

//“Stop admiring yourself!”

Though those words weren’t aimed at me, I heard my mother’s voice echo in this stranger’s mouth. It landed like a slap. The three of us, a desi mom who was around my age, her daughter who couldn’t have been more than 8, and I were standing in an elevator. It was one of those fancy affairs with mirrors and gold lining instead of wood panels. The little girl had been smiling at herself in the mirror, making different poses and grinning. Selfies without a camera, I thought. But when the mother snapped at her young daughter, the child’s eyes immediately fell tothe floor. She shuffled sideways and stood beside her mother. The smile on her face was completely erased.”//

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