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We are a country obsessed with fair skin. Anyone with a slightly darker tone is either ridiculed or given advice on how to be fairer. Isn’t it time we stopped?
We live in a country where a large number of people are completely obsessed with fair skin. All their modern thoughts, education, and opinions take a side seat when the talk of skin colour begins. Such is the sad reality of the 21st century. It is not just our nation, but many other countries believe and promote of the concept ‘Fair is beautiful.’
This belief is so entrapped in the minds of young and old, educated and uneducated, village and city dwellers it looks like a truth, but it’s not. Our skin colour is nothing, but just an outcome of our genes, of our DNA.
Also, it has become a multi-million-dollar industry as skin lightening products are being sold in the market like hotcakes. From glow enhancing creams to skin colour improving masks you just name it and there you have it!
This leads to an inferiority complex between friends, siblings and colleagues. At the same time, it is one of the reasons for a number of issues including name-calling, dowry, arguments and fights and a biased attitude towards people with a darker skin tone.
While I am not saying that everyone with a darker skin tone has faced these issues, but it is a part of the daily life for a number of them. I am just stating the facts on the basis of things I have had people tell me on various occasions.
A close friend of mine is a brilliant henna artist and earns well working as a freelancer in her hometown. However, she deleted all her social media accounts after one of her clients commented on her WhatsApp picture. The client said, “Is that you? Why don’t you spare some time and work on your face?” When she narrated this incident to me, I was shocked at that person’s mean and rude attitude.
Another person who narrated a similarly sad incident is a cousin of mine. She is dark complexioned but according to my aunts, it won’t be a hurdle in her getting married. On being asked why, they claim that her father has more than enough money to cover up this flaw of hers.
Then there was this advertisement that I saw in a national daily a few months ago. It is still fresh in my mind. The advertisement was for a receptionist who had to be fair other than having the necessary qualifications. This kind of a biased attitude sometimes ends up with companies losing a prospective employee because fair skin is more important than the dedication towards work.
During my graduation, I studied in a college in a small town where the atmosphere was quite different. It wasn’t just boys but some girls too, would make fun of the other girls who weren’t fair.
The situations escalated at times and resulted in fights and suspensions. But nothing deterred the spirit of the people born with white skin and a dark mind.
My first ever brush with this complexion based attitude happened when a classmate narrated a tale. She told the entire class how she was married at 18 to a much older man who was willing to accept her without dowry despite her dusky skin. When she entered her husband’s house as a new bride, did she face reality. He had another wife from his first marriage and only wanted my classmate as a machine to bear them children.
These are just a few of the examples people have told me about how their skin tone changed their life. So let us all pledge to take a stand against this biased attitude towards dark skin.
Isn’t it time we changed our thoughts from ‘dark is ALSO beautiful’ to “Everyone is beautiful?’
Picture credits: YouTube
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An engineer and a researcher who loves to pen down her thoughts, opinions. Nature lover,
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