Brown… White … In-between…

Words by Dionne (she/they), 17 WA 

To grow up brown is to be Sisyphus,
without a crime.

Atlas to your parents’, societies’, and your own standards
In that order.

To grow up brown out of India,
is to be subject to both Western and Eastern societal pressures.
A never-ending Pandora’s box of perceived failures.

To grow up brown in a white world,
is to be the coloured imperfection, on an untouched-white canvas.

It is to be ridiculed and ricocheted,
revolted against for my authenticity and ingenuity,
by whiteness.

Whether stucco or rubber deep.

But when my colourless counterparts imitate and impersonate
it’s ingenious.

For brown technique, brown talk, and brown thoughts are only deemed worthy
when whitened down to blonde, blue eyed standards.

To grow up brown in a white world,
means my white-o-metre reading determines my tolerance by society.

If I opened the white-stucco-Pandora’s box of society’s dark twisted truths,
Would I live long enough to list societal injustices,
based on presented, perceived, and perpetuated whiteness?

Even so, what am I under the stucco?
Under the untold layers.

Sometimes it’s easier to accept the lies we are given,

The perceived whiteness.

In an augmented reality of bleached hair, bleached skin, and boiled chicken.
Ignoring dreams perpetually pulled out of my coloured grasp by a white world.
Eyes which deceive, equating tolerance as praise to justify imitating the White

It’s easier to be the Behaved Minority
the Assimilated Minority
the Best Minority

It’s easier than being


Then being the polarised Paki cut off by society

It’s easier than living with the reality of black hair in a society made for the blonde.

It’s easier than living with the reality of being dirt on the snow

           Misplaced, Unwanted


It’s easier than living with the reality of brownness,

           unalterable, unchangeable, ever showing.

Until being shown as desirable,
but only through a stucco lens on a stucco wall.

By the brown, the white, and the in-between.


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