India’s obsession with fair skin is well known. Much has been written and discussed about the fairness cream industry and the social conditioning which has been sending out strong signals for decades, stating blatantly that only fair Indian women are beautiful. I am not particularly dark nor am I particularly fair – I guess I would fall into what the matrimonial columns would term as “wheatish”. Now, since wheat is a kind of brown, here are 5 reasons why I am content with being a brown skinned Indian woman:
1. Tanning products? No thanks! I am just as weak as the next consumer and my dressing table is already cluttered with enough products. Living abroad, I often see advertisements for tanning sprays, lotions, creams and even, tanning beds and spas. Thank goodness I will never need any of those! As it is I am quite lazy about the whole waxing and threading business, now can you imagine if I had to add tanning to that list? My brown skin sure helps me save time, effort and money. Plus, if you’ve ever watched the episode of Friends when Ross visits a tanning salon, you’ll be as glad as me to know that you’ll never have to do that!
2. Sunburn? What sunburn? I come from Chennai which, as the joke goes, has only 3 seasons – hot, hotter and hottest! For the past few years I have been living in the Middle-East where temperatures can soar to 50 C in summers. Yet, I have never once been sunburnt in my life. Granted, I don’t stand in the sun for hours on end without any protection. However, there are more chances of me getting a headache, a tan or even a stroke rather than getting sunburn. My brown skin is pretty hardy you know!
3. Reduced risks of getting skin cancer: Research suggests that light skinned people are more susceptible to skin cancer than darker skinned people. Of course, it does not mean that darker skinned people will never get skin cancer – but the chances are lessened. Well then, one less thing to worry about.
4. Dark skin ages slower than light skin: Studies also show that the effects of aging are more pronounced on light skin than on dark skin. Since darker skin has more melanin, light skin is quicker to wrinkle and develop age spots when compared to dark skin.
5. In august company: The list of brown skinned beauties is endless – Nandita Das, Bipasha Basu, Konkana Sen Sharma, Freida Pinto and not to mention a host of even-darker skinned international models. When we have such gorgeous women on our side, tell me, what is there to be ashamed of in being brown skinned?!
*Photo credit: cea.