My name is Ruchi Page and I am an Indian-born Australian woman, living in Melbourne.
I was adopted from Kolkata, India and grew up in a small town, raised by my incredible Australian family. Acceptance and inclusion was something that came naturally in my upbringing and social environments - it wasn’t until my older years that I would reflect on the rejection and exclusion the rest of the world had to offer.
Watch: Model Jessica Vander Leahy speaks out on Australian fashion and body diversity. Post continues below.
Growing up in the Girlfriend and Dolly magazine era sparked my obsession with the beauty world. I remember saving up my dollar coins to purchase a magazine for the black eye liner gift, which I would sneakily and obnoxiously wear in my early years of high school.
Fast-forward a few years to 18-year-old me. The glam obsession continued and doing my own makeup for my debutante ball was a must.
Leading up to the debutante ball, my mum and I relished in a girls' day and shopped for the final touches, i.e. the makeup. I walked away with a foundation two shades lighter than my skin tone and a terracotta bronzer to hide the ashy finish.
Was I mad? No. Because foundations just don’t reach skin tones like mine and that’s just how the beauty world works. Well, that’s the reality I had accepted. Remember how I mentioned the term ‘acceptance’ earlier? I accepted colourism.