Poem: ‘My Body’

i’ve spent these days rebuilding my body
after ripping it apart with the words
of careless aunties and paper cuts from teen vogue

Why Every Young Woman Should Move At Least Once In Her 20’s

Though my journey may seem a little excessive, I cannot emphasize enough how important it is for every young woman to live somewhere new at least once in their lives. I don’t mean move to college for 4 years, or the closest big city with your girlfriends, but somewhere totally new that pushes you out of your comfort zone. It can be incredibly frightening to leave home, and even seem unnecessary, but the experiences I have had are invaluable and critical to my growth.

Poem: ‘Dear Metastatic Cancer’

So meta-static
is a paradox of meaning
meta reflective
unchanging changes defective
leaving us wondering which treatments will be effective

How ‘Get Out’ Reminded Me of My Failure to Stand Up For My Black Lover

I once had the privilege of falling in love with the most handsome, smartest, and most importantly, kindest human being in the world. He also happened to be a black man in America, who took on a brave task: dating a Bengali urban-American whose family was so deeply infected with colonialism and hypocrisy.

Dear My Main Man: A Daughter’s Letter of Love to Her Father

Dear My Main Man,

I write to you because out of every helping hand I have received in this world, yours is the one with the most impact. You receive the least amount of credit and praise for the things you do. You’ve always stood back and let me shine or run in the rain knowing I always get caught up in a storm. You’re always stepping in when I call for you, knowing you can’t be more than a few feet away ready to comfort me in your arms as you have been doing for years. It’s time that light radiates on who you are and the love that you have shown me.

‘Kali:’ A Poem on Having Dark Skin

When I was 5, my father told me to stay under a roof, lest the evil, evil hands of the sun touch my skin.

When I was 10, my mother discreetly replaced my Pears soap bar with a foul blend of turmeric, milk, and wilfulness, to be refilled every morning.

Overcoming Today’s Pakistani Desire to Look Arab

Some Pakistanis – at least in London where I am – pretend that they have Arab heritage. This is a fact that I’ve never really questioned until recent years when I became more curious, confident and knowledgeable of my own lineage. Why do some of us lie about our bloodline?

Sisters Separated By Caste – A Review of ‘The Color of Our Sky’ by Amita Trasi

Imagine not knowing you share the same blood as the low-caste girl your family adopted. The one that is a few years older but always dutifully providing you her company. Your mother admonishes your father for bringing this girl of a lesser societal status home, but for you, she’s practically a sister.

Poem: ‘What Middle Class?’

i am calculating how many more hours i
need to sit at this desk
how many more rich white folk i need to
drive around this city
to their tasteless and expensive bars
just so i can pay my rent

How Being a Woman is Sexy – And What That Really Means

Standing up for what you believe in and proving negativity wrong is incredibly powerful. Not only are we incredibly beautiful and have dangerously gorgeous curves, but we have a tremendous amount of capability to do so much more.

Reasons Why My Father is an Undercover Feminist

At face value, my dad is a traditional Punjabi, conservative and serious father who just wants the best for his daughter. Yet over the years, all of the guidance he has provided me and all of the choices he has made for me have all screamed feminism. The decisions he made in raising me would make Sheryl Sandberg proud; however, his behavior was never meant to work towards feminism or gender equality — it was just a great externality.

‘Spread Your Legs’: A Poem on Sexual Harrassment

Spread your legs, man.
It doesn’t matter if you’re wearing pants,
a dhoti,
just your kacchi,
speedos
a thong
no underwear
who cares?
Spread your legs

Dear Single Ladies: You Are a Brilliant Wonder Woman

For single desi women in their 30s and 40s, the comments from others just keep on coming and coming and coming. No matter how many times you hit them, they keep on coming, like tennis balls out of a machine. At some point, you just want to throw your racket away and run.

Dear Everyone: My Culture is Not a Costume For You

The same kids that thought my traditional clothing was weird, that my food smelled funny and who assumed my culture was barbaric, are now walking around wearing bindis, matha pattis (headpieces) and saris, raving about how their life has changed after throwing some turmeric in their latte.

How I Learned to See The Worth in My South Asian Beauty

In kindergarten, my friend Emma took it upon herself to explain that my darker skin and bushy eyebrows meant that I would never be pretty. I didn’t question Emma’s words at the time because, validated by her shiny blonde hair and pale green eyes, how could she have been wrong?

A Deeper Look into India’s Fair Skin Obsessed Beauty Standards

by Anonymous – Follow @browngirlmag Last month, there was controversy regarding the…

Poem: ‘She Walks in Beauty’

The dew of the morning
Shone like diamonds on my brows-
I could feel ancient tunes storming
in the vaults of my heart, resonating your vows.

Is Beauty An Accomplishment? My Response to Priyanka Chopra Voted “Second Most Beautiful Woman in the World”

I know many people reading this will argue that she was chosen for being much more than a pretty face – a Goodwill Ambassador, breaking diversity barriers, and more.

But who are we kidding?

‘A Night In the City’: A Poem

The city breathes through their breath,
and the world feels alive, thriving,
even though nothing is similar and nothing is different
because it has all happened, it is all happening,
it will always happen

5 Ways Desi Girls Can Heal From Sexual Assault

You may be dependent on your perpetrator. You may be told that you’re unmarriageable. You may worry about other people judging you. You may worry about looking weak. Or, you may be a very private brown girl who doesn’t know how to put her experiences into words (and that’s okay). With all of that in mind, it’s no wonder why some brown girls keep their abuse a secret.