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An obsession with fair skin is a widespread disease in India. Is it taking our focus away from being good, confident people? questions Soumya.
An obsession with fair skin is a widespread disease in India. Is it taking our focus away from being good, confident people?
Wanted: bride. Fair, beautiful, aged less than 25, for Indian boy settled in Mumbai with family business.
Looking for sincere Christian, God fearing, fair lady for a well settled Indian boy in Australia.
Every time I look at matrimonial ads in the paper, or online, there is one word that always stands out – ‘Fair’. This word is mentioned more than the words ‘bride’ and ‘groom’, too! Everyone needs a fair bride. Is one ill mannered or less beautiful just because his/her skin color is not fair? I’m yet to come across a matrimonial ad which says “wanted: dusky and beautiful bride” or “dusky and lovely girl” or “skin color no bar”. Apparently, to many, ‘dusky’ doesn’t sound good with ‘beautiful’ and ‘lovely’.
India has never been one. People have always been categorized and slotted here. People from the North are fair and those from the south, popularly known as Madrasis are not. Remember the hype Nina Davuluri caused when she won the Miss America crown this year? Indians rejoiced, but would she have won if she was based in India?
Remember the hype Nina Davuluri caused when she won the Miss America crown this year? Indians rejoiced, but would she have won if she was based in India?
When was the last time you saw a dusky girl lift the Miss India crown? If the poor girl was in India she would have been cursed by her parents for her skin color, and a hefty dowry would be presented to her husband to compensate for her skin color.
The most saddening thing I saw, was the sale of some fairness potion on national television. A well known actress was promoting it. I bet she wouldn’t dare to use it even once. In this ad, a girl is shooed away from home by her parents because she was not fair. The girl somehow gets hold of this potion and becomes fair, comes back, and is accepted wholeheartedly. These ads always emphasize upon the urgent need of getting fair and regaining our lost self-esteem. For people with not-so-fair complexion, this is almost like getting assaulted for what they are.
For people with not-so-fair complexion, this is almost like getting assaulted for what they are.
On one hand, the parents, peers, family members keep reminding you of this so called ‘curse’ and on the other, these TV ads try their best to lower one’s self-esteem! I once saw this tagline of a fairness cream brand on home shopping- “Fairness=Beauty=Success. Dark skin=Ugliness=Failure”. Is this right?
Maybe this entire thing started off with the ‘White’ Britishers ruling the ‘Brown’ Indians. Maybe white skin was always considered as a sign of higher authority. And maybe we will never stop appreciating white skin and looking down upon the not-so-white ones.
Pic credit: anoldent (Used under a CC license)
A bibliophile with a quest for writing, I'm a techie by day. An eternal optimist and a feminist, I believe that once we achieve equality, we can achieve anything in this world. I firmly read more...
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Shows like Indian Matchmaking only further the argument that women must adhere to social norms without being allowed to follow their hearts.
When Netflix announced that Indian Matchmaking (2020-present) would be renewed for a second season, many of us hoped for the makers of the show to take all the criticism they faced seriously. That is definitely not the case because the show still continues to celebrate regressive patriarchal values.
Here are a few of the gendered notions that the show propagates.
A mediocre man can give himself a 9.5/10 and call himself ‘the world’s most eligible bachelor’, but an independent and successful woman must be happy with receiving just 60-70% of what she feels she deserves.
As long as teachers are competent in their job, and adhere to the workplace code of conduct, how does it matter what they do in their personal lives?
A 30 year old Associate Professor at a well-known University, according to an FIR filed by her, was forced to resign because the father of one of her students complained that he found his son looking at photographs of her, which according to him were “objectionable” and “bordering on nudity”.
There are two aspects to this case, which are equally disturbing, and which together make me question where we are heading as a society.
When the father of an 18 year old finds his son looking at photographs of a lady in a swimsuit, he can do many things. What this parent allegedly did was to dash off a letter to the University which states: