Somy Ali: When I was a kid growing up in the United States, I endured bullying because of my skin tone.

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Somy Ali, the director of the US-based NGO No More Tears, says she has been the target of body shaming despite her hard efforts to save and protect victims of domestic violence and rape. She claims that when she first arrived in the United States, locals judged her unfairly.

When I was a little child and had just immigrated to the United States, I was bullied because I wasn’t fair-skinned, and I’ll never get over the emotional scars that left. Because our identities as adults are formed throughout childhood, hurtful words can have a lasting impact on a person. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: nothing will change unless and until fair-skinned celebrities speak out against not only skin prejudice but also the illiterate caste system. People will be treated with disdain and mocked. In this case, I call on the beautiful, virtuous people to be the agents of change. She said, “I’m sure they can put aside their selfies for once and have a serious conversation about this issue.”

Talking about how this would alter, she says, “Famous and powerful people standing up for change. That’s all there is to it. Why don’t influential individuals speak out when problems like these arise? I guess I just don’t see a problem with it if Hollywood stars in the US do it. I’m not denying their positive impact or suggesting otherwise; but, I urge caution when using them. Don’t be afraid to stand up to this crazy manufacturer of skin-lightening creams and reject their products. It’s time for them to use their fame for good in the world.

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