If you ask me what the worst thing to deal with in life is, I will personally tell you it’s jealousy. You’re probably thinking there are far greater and worse things to deal with in life; surely jealousy can’t be number one. Before you potentially judge me to the moon and back and assume I haven’t experienced ‘bigger problems‘, let me explain why I stand by my unconventional opinion.
It is beyond painful to watch a loved one go… But death is inevitable—no one lives forever and they may be in a better place once their journey comes to an end. As Rupi Kaur once said “I am sorry this world could not keep you safe, may your journey at home be a soft and peaceful one.”
We are all meant to go. I don’t feel negative emotions when a loved one perishes only to be at a place that they are meant to be. We are meant to be there too.
“The hereafter is better for you than the present life and verily your Lord will give you so that you will be pleased” – Quran, 4:5.
Heartbreak is also painful. If I could describe it, I would say to experience heartbreak is to experience death while still alive. I know, however, that that pain is temporary and that once healed, I will become a more beautiful, loving and inspiring woman. I will my find my purpose in life and renew myself. I will overcome and I will share my pain with people who can find solace from my experience.
But jealousy, on the other hand, is terrifying. Jealous people will never want others to succeed, to be happy or to live beautifully. Jealousy affects not only the jealous person but the ones that they are jealous of. There is nothing more worse than an evil eye-once a person’s jealousy gives another the evil eye, it follows them through life. There’s no limit as to when it stops. The evil eye that stems from jealousy can even be personal and come from close ones. How terrifying it is, not knowing another’s true intentions.
To experience heartbreak is to experience death while still alive
Jealousy is a natural human emotion that can get ugly and bitter – it is poisonous. If it is bestowed upon someone, they will do nothing but suffer. No good comes out of it. It doesn’t always have to do with looks; it can be about status, wealth or even personality but what I have personally experienced or observed myself always leaves me shocked. Within the Asian community, and I am sure others, jealousy strives from, as controversial as it sounds, skin color.
Do I blame girls of this generation or the older generation back in the late century who were behind the idea that lighter meant more beautiful? Shall I blame those who endorse fair and lovely or those who make lightening creams? Or women, for being jealous of each other? Maybe no one is to blame but instead, how we perceive beauty that is at fault.
My mother told me that when I was born, my aunty was the first to hold me after they cut the umbilical cord. “Wow Parveen, it’s a miracle, she is as white as milk,” she told my mother as she held me.
Am I really a miracle though? If I am, is it really because I have a fair complexion? Did she mean I am a miracle because my mum prayed endlessly and struggled to have children or was it because I was “white as milk”?
Jealousy affects not only the jealous person but the ones that they are jealous of
My skin color is white; I am light, I have pale skin. Does this mean that I am more beautiful than someone who is darker than I am? Absolutely not. My skin color is nothing more than fact. But when people add their own biases and perceptions, they in turn give it a meaning. When we associate meaning to something trivial, we identify it as something more than it is.
The perception in the Asian community that white skin is better still remains today. I get looked at with envy and disdain when I tell someone I am MAC foundation shade NW15. But on the other hand, women with darker skin regularly face injustice. Kavitha Emmanuel, co-founder of NGO Women of Worth said in The Guardian “It’s like at the market, you pick and choose.. and just as everyone wants a nice red tomato, they also demand a fair skinned daughter-in-law”.
But while women who are brown-skinned feel unfairness and cruelty from the world due to society’s biased perception of skin color, they should not bring down women of fairer skin as a result. On the other hand, women with fairer skin must not feel or act superior to those who with darker skin. Rather, we should all empower each other and change the narrative around what beauty is.
My skin color is nothing more than fact
Beauty is comfort.. It is the glow we embody when we pray, the dark circles under our eyes when we wake up for fajr, the innocence in our thoughts, and the purity of our intentions. I wish everyone knew beauty is many things, but not our skin color.