So, this was an unplanned mid week post which I thought was very important and needs to be put out there. I recently watched one of my favorite you tuber, Scherezade Shroff, make a video about being comfortable in your own skin. She talks about how she often gets complimented on being ‘so fair’ and hence pretty. It not only makes her unhappy but she also feels extremely disrespected. Why? Because in my country most people strongly associate prettiness to the shade of ones skin color. So if you’re fair then you’re lovely, but if you’re dusky then god save you from the incessant nudging and constant feed of home remedies by the irritating nosy aunties! It’s very demeaning to say the least, but unfortunately its the truth and has been around for many many years now.
Being born in a south Indian family and inheriting the beautiful skin color, was not such a proud thing after all. As a kid I was darker than a lot of my cousins and friends, not that I cared or was even aware until people started making me conscious about it. It’s disheartening to see how the society looks down upon a person just because they are dark skinned, it’s only a reflection of their pettiness.These disgusting fairness cream ads are just a cherry on the cake. Their repeated illogical attempts of portraying a woman who’s unhappy and depressed for being rejected in an interview because of her dark skin. Who by the way then goes onto use the magical fairness cream and tadaaa is back to life, now she’s successfully making her way up the corporate ladder, who says you need degrees and education?! It’s sad to see how she conveniently attributes all her success to the fairness cream that she smothered on her face. These made up reality scenes are SOO believable, that these creams sell like hot cakes and make huge profits! Only if in real life things worked that way! As an adult I understand this, but teenagers who are easily impressionable, will believe these marketers. They are very smartly & slyly capitalizing on the emotions that are linked to age old beliefs and narrow mindedness. I’m not going to lie, back in school I was guilty of using these fairness creams too, only to realize it made zero difference to my skin, my confidence or to the person that I was aspiring to be!
What is more amusing is how everyone seems to be wanting a fair wife/gf, like that’s the only apparent criteria for a lot of men. OK, I understand, to each their own, I’m not judging you. Go ahead and choose the fairest and throw all the logic out of that window, I promise I still won’t judge you. Except that, I’am downright judging you for your pea-brained, shallow, almost dysfunctional ability to think! You know what I’am most angry about, how these fairness ads displaying a sad,depressed,rejected,unsuccessful portrayal of a woman has been tolerated for sooo many years. Especially, even in this day and age where we know of so many successful dusky women, who have made it big not only in non-beauty industries, but also in fashion and movie businesses which is highly dominated by the fairer crowd. The irony is,the same actresses who are dusky and successful endorse these fairness creams and hence creating a huge demand! If economics taught you well, you’ll know when there is a huge demand, there is an equal & almost overflowing supply too, so we are to blame as well. If we just understand the simple fact that every skin color is equally beautiful and attractive. That by being different or unique as a person is what sets you apart and not just being a fair skinned human. Then these creams wouldn’t see the day light and we can probably fill their empty shelves with something more worthwhile, like ice cream may be, I mean come on!
I understand this issue on a more personal level,because I’m not conventionally ‘fair’ and there have been times when people made me feel less about myself because of my skin color. Over the years, I understood that your skin color is not a representation of your beauty, your skills or anything that you are as a person and learnt to truly accept myself. I also learned, that its ok to go out in the sun and live your life without having to cover your face all the time. That it’s ok to gulp down cups of your favorite chai & stop worrying about it making you darker. That it’s ok to be just YOU because no-one else can be you better! I know there are a lot of girls out there, who aren’t confident & succumbing to the societal pressure by constantly looking for solutions to become a shade lighter. Believe me when I say this, there is nothing more liberating & life changing than truly accepting oneself. The day you can smile with pride when someone calls you dusky or dark instead of feeling disgusted or insulted then that’s your win. We’ve been blessed with a beautiful skin color and that stupid shade scale can’t tell you otherwise!
So, please stop trying to become fairer and obsessing over fairness creams,they will only make your pockets lighter and nothing else!
Smile, shrug off and surge ahead people, it’s only an extra amount of melanin we’re talking about, it can’t be this important! So say NO to fairness creams and be your own kind of beautiful!
Swati, a proud dusky Indian woman.