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If I am a person worth more than my looks, why should my colour matter? This just reduces our girls to commodities to be traded!￼
Lately, I have been thinking a lot about how one’s skin tone is really a great matter of concern for the society. How it’s become necessary to shape the future of people. Not only in the aspect of jobs and career, but in other aspects as well, the skin tone has become a major deciding factor of one’s fate.
And as I kept thinking and thinking, to the answers of how and why regarding skin tones; I could not come up with a single reason that might justify the perspective of a wishful journey with light skin color over dark. In fact it really does not matter, whether a person has a darker skin hue rather the lustre. If something is supposed to happen, it will happen, no matter what superstitious things we want to believe.
There is no prestigious thing in differentiating people on the basis of colour, on the basis of the skin tone. Rather it’s an ashaming and affronting act in the eyes of humanity.
So the concept of “Gore ladkiyon ko hi achche ladke milte hai””Gore ladkiyon ko achche ladke milte hai” or “Shakal achchi honi chahiye shaadi ke liye”, is actually the biggest misconception that our society is living with for ages. To the point that we are forgetting the true meaning of beauty.
We are so obsessed about this association of beauty with fairer skin, that we fail to realize what impact it’s having on young girls and women. It’s not only making them conscious about their own being, it’s also making them hide themselves, in a closet of insecurities and uncertainities.
Our market is stocked with many products that advocate this ‘fairness’. Most of these creams contain chemicals that are not only harmful for our skins, but are also costing us in ways we don’t realise.
The notion of being fairer and liked by everyone, is so big that the ambiguity of this whole idea is easily getting neglected, and how we forget the harmful effects of all these creams. We forget that we are actually gifted by our mother nature for a certain type of skin colour. No matter what we do, nothing’s going to be changed. It is part of us and that’s what adds to our beauty.
It is not only causing physical and physiological damage, but is also adding to the psychological tragedies that a person has to suffer.
Amongst girls, this has become a competition to get a flawless smooth shiny white skin tone, and girls who have a dark skin tone are being outcast rather than included in the society.
In many situations we see how a girl gets rejected during her marriage proposal because her darker color is an ailment according to the society’s demand of beauty. How many times have we seen girls around us, forced to follow what this society believes in, undergoing treatments that would make them beautiful? I have seen many times, how girls are taught to apply haldi, chandan, malai, and all such natural pastes that would make a girl ‘fairer’, and personally speaking, it does nothing but removes the tan. It doesn’t change the tone from dark to fairer.
In a very similar situation, I found myself cringing as someone mentioned that they want a daughter-in-law who is fair and beautiful. In another situation, a lady was boasting about her daughter’s lighter skin tone. There was actually no mention and credibility of education, qualification, intelligence. The only factor that mattered was the girl’s fairness and ‘beauty’. As if women are a subject to be boasted about because of their skin tone. Like a trophy to be held and displayed in front of the society, and to rank them on the basis of what they see externally.
So, if a girl is dark or I would now like to say, “kali”, Will there be no worth of her thoughts, her intelligence, her psychic, her instincts, her dreams, her education, her nature and her worth as herself as a whole? Since we call such a girl by the name of Goddess Kali why do we not look at the amount of strength and power she’s having? Why don’t we value the person she is?
Would her education be pushed back under the heavy weight of her skin color?
Would her qualification be only mere pieces of papers and degree beneath the rug of her skin tone?
Would her self worth be always questioned because her skin tone isn’t in her hands?
Would she always be forced to hurt herself applying all those creams and pastes which don’t guarantee any results?
Would all the other qualities within her become secondary with regards to her skin tone?
Would she be the subject to the never ending rants, questions and pities of people just because she has a skin tone darker than all the other girls?
Then we as a society have failed on many grounds, while protecting age old ideologies that needed to be expired as they are a toxic poison for the normal psychological health of individuals.
Have we ever realized what a girl has to go through while listening to all this rot about her skin tone, about being criticized as kali, and treated as an outcast by society?
Have we ever realized what kind of psychological trauma a girl goes through, when she’s constantly compared to her friends, sisters and cousins, who happened to have a lighter skin tone than hers?
Have we ever realized, what a girl with dark skin tone feels, when we constantly push her to use things that have no effect as they promise?
Have we ever realized how uncertain and insecure a girl becomes when we question about her skin tone, when we treat her as someone to be demeaned continuously?
Have we ever realized that how many girls question their self worth, and fall into the pit of depression because of our unnecessary obsessions during marriage proposals?
No, we don’t even bother to look at that aspect. Instead we stand as exhibitionists displaying the finest crafts in the form of women, disregarding the fact that they are also humans not sculptures.
If the definition of beauty is a flawless face without scars, with a lighter skin tone, as our society believes, then sorry to say but the biggest lie is our society itself, which has categorized individuals according to the natural flesh they are wearing, rather than considering them as humans.
The definition of beauty holds a much broader meaning then just being having a light skin tone. It expands from having a scar that adorns our skin to the way one perceives life.
Beauty simply does not lie only in the face, it also lies in the nature of person, in the very heart of the human, to the intelligence and knowledge that one shares.
If these persons, who are constantly discriminated against on the basis of skin colour can accept our fractured society, then, we, as human beings, need to wholehearted embrace these ‘flawed’ beauties. If they can learn to live in this fucked up society, so can we accept them the way they are!
Published here earlier.
Image source: a still from the movie Wake Up, Sid
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Astha is a journalist based in Bangalore, who writes about the developmental issues such as
One of my bffs has dark screen, and I have been hearing from my childhood what nonsense she had to put up with from extended families, neighbors, and random people because of her skin colour. Her parents feared too, but she didn’t give it any damn. She concentrated on her career, did tearea well, now settled abroad all by herself. And, is getting married to a wonderful man.
Skin cploco changes nothing. I hope we teach our girls and boys to be themselves, and not someone who we (the norms of society) want them to be.
I am glad you wrote it.
Thankyou so much! Mam.
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