dark skin

It don’t matter if you are black or white…

Thus went the famous song by MJ. Here in India, it is more like It’s light brown; It’s dark brown. And, it matters a lot!

India, which is a brown country, where skin tones range from the really dark to the lightest browns, you learn about your skin colour from a very young age. If you are darker toned, you would have heard a derogatory comment from as soon as your mommy popped you out. If you are lighter skinned, you would have heard paeans in praise of your ‘beauty.’ Strangely skin colour is equated with beauty though the two have no connection whatsoever. I have come across an equal number of unattractive fair and dark-skinned people. But, in India, you are beautiful if your skin colour is lighter. Don’t know if it is a hangover of our colonial past, or we truly can’t look beyond colour and its various shades.

Discrimination based on your skin colour prevails all over the world even in the most developed countries. But what is astonishing in India is how well accepted and ingrained the connection between dark skin and ugliness is in our country. A number of dark-skinned girls and boys, including yours truly, have clawed their way to self-confidence, while others have been crushed for life.

Here, no one breaks a sweat before making a demeaning statement about your skin colour to your face or to your child’s face. Here mothers tell their own daughters to do something about their skin colour or they won’t get a groom. Where hot-shot celebrities like Shahrukh Khan don’t bat an eyelid while doing an advertisement that attributes their success to a lighter complexion inducing depression among the largely dark-skinned population. Where darker-skinned actresses always find their name preceded with dusky while announcing their achievements. I am sure it is the biggest challenge that they had to overcome. Their talent, looks and luck had nothing to do with it.

This message that dark skin is ugly is everywhere, blatantly! Switch on the telly or any magazine. Most advertisements show milky white models and most cosmetic creams promise a lighter, glowing complexion. A leading skincare brand, Fair & Lovely (can the branding be any more brash) had advertisements that showed darker skinned girls being failures in life (interviews, in landing a relationship etc.) till they acquired a brighter complexion. The dark skinned actresses progressively look fairer and more acceptable with every role they do. Sadly, even those like Deepika Padukone who could have been a better role model for darker girls are doing a fairness cream advert.

If you were to look at our hoardings or our actors, you would think that there is a systematic effort to obliterate dark skin from our landscape. It is as if the dark skinned folks did not exist. Unfortunately, kaala, saanwala and kaali are tossed as abuses at people. Just the other day, I was seeing a snippet from the interview of Priyanka Chopra, a former Miss World and one of the most popular actresses in India, mentioning how she grew up feeling ugly because she was always teased as kaali since her childhood. Imagine the scars we effortlessly leave for our children to grapple with without batting an eyelid.

Let me tell you there is nothing funny about making fun of people based on their skin colours, as many consider it banter to shame you. This apathy we display while saying such insensitive things makes me want to hit back.  Not only adults but kids pick up this attitude from their parents. I have some despairing incidents that have happened at my kids’ school.

This race to fit in and be lighter skinned leads to ridiculous behavior like applying ghastly face powder that creates a chalky, scary look. Some people repeatedly bleach their skin or use harmful skin products to get that elusive lighter skin. It degrades them as people and shreds their self esteem. Walk into a beauty parlor and you can be sure to be asked for a de-tanning, skin lightening treatment. Go to buy cosmetics, and you will find the incompetent people selling you a foundation one shade lighter so that you look fairer. Oh yes, let us not forget to mention those hideous newspaper ads that openly ask for fair brides only. Of course, what else could matter to two human beings who are deciding to spend the rest of their lives together? Even men are not immune to the discrimination. They aspire to be Fair and Handsome too.

I can’t believe how ludicrous this behavior is. How can we as a country be so silly and so self-destructive? Where is our native pride in our beautiful, black, lush hair; lovely black doe eyes; striking sharp features and a healthy, glowing skin that is nourished with one of the most nutritionally balanced cuisines in the world?

Like all mindset changes, this one will take time too. And it does begin from home. Please don’t stop your children from playing in the sun because they will get dark. Don’t tell your daughters to use face packs to lighten their skin. Don’t make fun of people’s colour; your children are watching and imbibing your attitude. It is because you don’t want to address this derision of darker skin that millions of Indian children grow up with complexes.

I talk about colour openly in my home, sharing some of my own ridiculous experiences that now I can laugh at but hurt as hell when I was younger. At least, my children will hopefully have a more holistic view of human beings.

Here I would like to mention campaigns like Not Fair Very Lovely that are raising awareness about this issue and to bring pride back to all the darker skinned people in India.

It is time that we took pride in our true colour.



72 Thoughts on “It’s Black It’s White

  1. I am so glad somebody is writing about the issue of skin color…

    Yes white is preferred color in India.. but it is not the only color that is good looking. Go to countries like Ethiopia, Brazil, Venezuela and suddenly white is no longer beautiful all these countries take pride in their natural skin color.

    I personally feel that all these skin whitening creams etc. are stupid products and have no place in country like India that takes pride in cultural, religious, racial and ethnic diversity. Let a thousand skin tones bloom…
    Prasad Np recently posted…World Tiger Day July 29th- Aircel shows how you can helpMy Profile

    • That is exactly what I am saying. Beauty and colour are not interrelated. What is needed is to inculcate pride in what we are. I don’t expect these companies to show ethics but perhaps we can just force them to stop this discriminatory advertising. Let each person thrive irrespective of their skin tone. Thanks for reading, Prasad.

  2. I wonder when our obsession with skin colour will end! A very valid post, Rachna.
    Sid recently posted…The house on the seaMy Profile

  3. For me the biggest challenge is finding lotions and potions that promise not to lighten and brighten my skin-tone.

    And also the countless number of times I have to tell the salon – no, thank you. I do not want tan-removal included in my facial package.

    Thanks to the Vitamin-D deficiency scare, I’ve even stopped using sunblock creams!
    Purba recently posted…The Vacation RitualMy Profile

    • Me too, Purba. Even the plain moisturiser is lightening now. Phew! I stopped using sunblock since my own Vit D deficiency.

      I do love my tan. Find it amusing when others have a problem with that. 🙂

  4. Wonderful stand you’ve taken Rachna. It’s a pity that in India people don’t understand that they were simply luckier to be born with a fairer skin tone. It’s not like developed countries where you are from a different race.

    This discrimination based on skin comes from people who are not happy with their lives; people who believe their fair skin compensates for some intrinsic incompetence, like some men who pump weights to hide a tiny you-know-what.

    It’s important to teach our children self confidence and how to be comfortable in their own skin (no pun intended). Teach them to achieve something so remarkable that people forget to look at their skin and focus on their talents instead. Not Fair But Lovely, as you mentioned, is one such laudable attempt.

    • I don’t even consider it lucky, Vishal. Frankly I am beautiful and my complexion is a large part of that beauty. It took me some time to realize that though since the occasional snide remarks and the messages in the movies and media leave you with doubts. Let’s just say that I had a wonderful family, teachers, male and female friends who always complimented me on a lot of things including looks.

      But think of those who don’t have this support, who are constantly made to feel small for what they are. How do they get that self confidence?

      I look at this issue slightly differently. I say flaunt your skin because you are beautiful the way you are. You don’t have to compensate it with achievements. You are perfect anyway. That to me is feeling comfortable in your skin. That is the awareness I strive to generate. Thanks for your thoughtful comment and for reading and sharing.

  5. The association of skin color with beauty is something that I do not understand at all. My MIL still thinks that she could have got a fairer bride for her son. Mind you, he is darker than me and I have no qualms about it. I love the man, irrespective of the color. I would have loved him even if he was green or purple.

    Sadly, it is the women who taunt other women based on their color. Although I have seen men do it too, more often than not it is the woman who does the shade comparison.

    India will never accept the dark/dusky skin toned people. Somewhere fair is also associated with richness (don’t ask), maybe that’s why everyone craves for a fair partner or fair self.

    I, just like Purba find it difficult to find products that do not promise to make me fair. Also, it is so difficult for the dusky woman like me to buy make-up. The shades available in the Indian market are only for the fair. While people like you and me are left to wonder what to do. Thank God for international make up brands making their way to India. They have numerous shades for the dark skin. Strangely it is not the white people who are racist. The brown ones are.
    Soumya recently posted…In Your Words – Part 2My Profile

    • Oh yes, somehow it is okay for a man to be dark skinned but he must get a milky white bride. You are such a pretty girl, and yet your mil couldn’t look beyond colour.

      You are right. It is mostly women who love oassing these snide remarks. Perhaps there is something in themselves that they are compensating by pulling others down.

      I think India on the whole is not bad. I have a loving bunch of family and friends. I haven’t heard a single bad comment from my in-laws. Personally I compliment everyone irrespective of their skin tone.

      I just want this constant media hammering to stop. There is a huge opportunity out there for some brand to pick up and offer us some good range of cosmetics and skin care products. I hope to see a day when dark skin will be flaunted lovingly invoking pride and images of beauty.

  6. I do have some experience in this area being the dark one in my family. I had accepted at an early stage ( 5 years old) that I’m not beautiful. Honestly darkness and ugliness didn’t bother me after that until later I grew up and learned that I’m beautiful and what was wrong with people!?
    Vinitha recently posted…The ME TIME dilemmasMy Profile

    • Haha Vinitha. I had the same realization. The messages in the society and random remarks make you just accept what people are saying. Till you look in the mirror and get compliments to the contrary.

  7. Superb post, Rachna! We see this attitude everywhere, don’t we? And sadly it is not just skin colour we have to grapple with. Height, weight, colour, the shape of your body, teeth – LOOKS. It all finally boils down to looks. Why are looks so important? While there are is a healthy discussion and awareness around this issue, I fear a generation that will fail to see anything beyond what they see. It is rubbed in so early on that a certain kind of “look” is the most desirable. Like you said, children learn from adults and it is upon us to stop discriminating in the name of skin colour even in jest. We should teach them to embrace our differences and feel confident in their skin – black, white, or brown.
    Destiny’s child recently posted…Of a childhood memory and vegetable loveMy Profile

    • Yes, it is worrisome how these messages in the society take over your judgment and make you prejudiced even before you have had a chance to think for yourself.

      Like I said begin with yourself. Teach your kids to take pride in who they are including their skin tone. And stop discriminating yourself.

  8. Very valid post, Rachna. I have felt this time and again whenever I see those ridiculous ads on TV or print. I mean, in what demented universe is skin complexion equal to achievement? Apparently in urban, modern India. Saddening, is it not? And from this we get further bases of segregation of caste and labour. And what people will do for money is seriously despicable. Stars must use their celebrity power for good. I hope the world wakes up to this nonsense and does away with fairness creams forever!
    Shailaja recently posted…Should your child watch TV? Teewe has the answerMy Profile

    • There needs to be some sort of regulation on these blatantly prejudiced messages in our ads, TV and movies. Demented is the perfect word you used. Yes, I didn’t touch upon the automatic reference of fair skin to privilege, wealth, achievement and higher caste. See how all the servants are played by dark skinned characters. These subtle messages get hammered into our subconscious reinforcing the biases. Seriously, these stars come from within us? Where is their decency and sensibility? I don’t want to get personal but how can a star who has a dark-skinned wife and daughter endorse Fair and Handsome?

      I think it is time we begin boycotting these products and their manufacturers.

  9. Oh where do I start on this topic! We, as a country, are blinded by things which should have been banned in the first place… We boast of our culture and traditions and what not but forget the basic tenets of humanity! You raise a very valid point here…Unfortunately, it’s so deeply ingrained in the Society’s psyche that I don’t know if we can fight it , defeat it rather, in our life time…Sigh!
    nabanita recently posted…Not A #FreeWrite Or A #FreeWriterMy Profile

  10. Rickie on July 28, 2015 at 2:32 pm said:

    Have you noticed the subtle change in the messaging in Fair and Lovely ads? It’s not about just skin tone any more. They talk about lightening your dark “spots” and blemishes! There’s political correctness for you! Of course the visuals continue to show the transformation of an African peasant girl to a Scandinavian princess in 6 weeks.

    • Very true, Rickie. Many products now talk of brightening your skin or nikhar. They think we are idiots that we will not know what exactly they are trying to sell. Sigh! I am tried of all the ‘brightening’ and ‘whitening’ ranges in the markets these days.
      Rachna recently posted…It’s Black It’s WhiteMy Profile

  11. Rachna, Very important post. This is something which is not addressed at all. In my extended family, we have all shades. Lightest to darkest. But still, the darker ones aspire to be lighter and the lighter ones love to taunt the darkies. i dont really care as long as the person is a decent human being. My own family – husband is dark, I am fair. We have heads turn when we go out for a walk. We laugh it off as, who cares. But, the husband has faced lot of negatives when he was growing up. And he worries, that our children shouldnt be taunted so. As you said, the impacts are long lasting.

    • Imagine how many heads turned when the husband and I walked. Him being fair and I being dark. 🙂 It quite amused me. Even the lighter ones want to get fairer. Hence the thriving of lightening cosmetics.

      My elder son faced some taunts earlier. I always spoke with him frankly and taught him not to care. We cannot control what others say or do, but we can only control our reaction to it. It breaks my heart when kids are subjected to this dark-fair crap. But, we have to just fight it. If someone says something to my face, I wittily retort. It makes the other person think twice the next time around. I think it is high time that we stop people from getting away from this verbal atyachar.
      Rachna recently posted…It’s Black It’s WhiteMy Profile

  12. well said! Skin color has nothing to do with beauty.And beauty has nothing to do with how a person turns out to be. High time we do something about it.
    Parul recently posted…#MicroblogMondays – For the Love of KannadaMy Profile

  13. I totally agree with your view. I am fair skinned and I am appalled by the kind of comments I hear for my cousins and friends who are not. Sad part is sometimes it is our own parents and families who do it.
    Hope this campaign makes a difference.
    Inderpreet Kaur recently posted…Day 1 of 3 – Day Quote ChallengeMy Profile

    • Yes, it is the worst when extended family and friends do it. That way one hesitates in hitting back. And their opinion also matters than say of a random stranger. I hope the mindsets change slowly. Thanks for reading and sharing, Inderpreet.

  14. I can understand the pain you must have gone through growing up. Being fair skinned (read as lighter skin tone in the U.S) I remember how people complimented all my life. Any dress will go with your color. And at the same time, how my sister a tone darker than me got remarks. Being a light skinned I still used fairness creams at a stage to look even brighter. Donno, for what? sounds foolish now. It is not just color, Rachna. Your confidence is hit when kids are thin, fat, short….all of it. The other day while watching a movie, Rushi says, I wish I had light skin. He saw the look on my face and said, “ah ..well.. I am fine with this”. Sigh…it is continuing even here and this generation too..hope it stops with his kids at least.

    • Wherever there are Indians, this obsession with fair skin will continue. Look at the ads, our serials and movies which the NRI population laps up even more than us here. You know it is a myth that everything looks good on a fair-skinned person. It all depends on what you wear and how you carry it. If your features are good and you are well groomed, you will look good and even better than the so-called fair skinned beauties. 🙂

  15. Rahul on July 28, 2015 at 7:47 pm said:

    The fixation for fair skin-a sad story oft narrated! This is unlikely to go away any time soon in our lifetime but hope next generation would be wiser to dump the cross we are still bearing like many other ills, Rachna!

  16. Udayashankar on July 28, 2015 at 10:03 pm said:

    100 % with you on the topic. While the western world already discriminates us as Black/Brown..see the statement of AAP leader Kumar Viswas below

    Vishwas was shown saying that “hospitals had earlier dark-skinned nurses and one would be forced to call them sister. Many of them (Kerala nurses) were reluctant to give their photo in bio-data. Whereas now, hospitals have good-looking nurses from North India. When they enter the hospital after applying perfume, even those who are not sick would think about getting admitted in hospital.” He apologised later by quoting “jokes delivered in a kavi sammelan are scripted and presented in a jocular and lighthearted manner without an intention to harm anybody’s feelings”.

    I have educated my daughters on such topics and believe that they don’t get away with such things..

    Rachnaji hope you dont get an ultimatum from the “MARDON WALI CREAM” and “MAXIMUM NIKHAR ROZ” people , haha

    • Thanks Udayashankar. Even Kapil’s show had really demeaning jokes on colour and body weight. Looks like we can’t do any comedy wihtout resorting to below-the-belt jokes. I wonder who it is a joke for? I am happy that you’ve educated your daughters. Don’t worry about the trolls. I can always delete their rants. 🙂

  17. I’ve ceased to marvel at how the both of us are in sync with our thoughts most of the time! I’m currently writing a post about my mother’s experience and wishing I had a post to point to for present context!! Thanks for getting my mental signals!! 😀
    Roshni recently posted…Accepting our imperfect parenting with compassion #1000SpeakMy Profile

    • Now, that was quite some telepathy. Loved reading the post about your mother’s experiences. Makes me so sad that this kind of stuff is so commonplace in India.

  18. I loved this post! You are so right… This obsession with fair skin is dehumanizing and cruel – on children and on their parents…
    Here, I get complimented by the Americans for my skin color and the Indians ask me if I’ve tried the new bleach that available in Target!*eyeroll*
    I love my skin tone – and back home I’ve had issues finding something that doesn’t lighten or bleach… Telling the beauty parlor lady to keep the bleach away!

    Loved this article.

    • Thanks, Pixie. I actually had the best experiences in the white countries myself. I was pleasantly surprised with the compliments. It made me feel how stupid we are back home. I remember a friend of mine had asked me to bring some whitening cream when I had visited UK a decade ago. The best part is that I could not find a single whitening product there. That says a lot about our attitudes, no? Oh that parlor thing has now become a joke. Despite refusing the treatment every single time, I am still asked for bleach. Once I asked the girl why she asks me? She told me something really telling. She said that more than 80% women when suggested take it. That brings them more revenues. And these clients include the fair-skinned ones too. Speaks loudly about the obsession for fair even more fair skin. A desperate endeavor to be as fair as possible.

  19. Pingback: Obsession to be fair among Indians - Indian American Mom

  20. I wonder when would our society grow up and truly see the beauty of a woman. I know and I have been through it for being dark skinned. It did hinder my confidence level while I was a kid. It was tough to grow up the confidence in myself and believe in my god gifted features.
    I am lucky I grew out of it and feel confident in my own skin and creed now 🙂

    A very thought provoking post Rachna 🙂
    Bilna Sandeep recently posted…How to keep up with your Career while you are on a Career BreakMy Profile

    • It affected all of us when we were younger. We can’t expect children or teens to not be affected by daunts and derision. Sometimes, even the family members feel so helpless when outsiders run amok with snide comments. With help and love, we come out of it feeling confident once again. But it did leave behind bitter memories.

      Glad you connected with the post, Bilna.

  21. Even Victoria secret models are a mix of colors!! Whatever makes people think that beauty is dependent on color. How about for once we teach our kids talk nicely and behave like a proper person? The extend of human priorities appals me sometimes.
    You article reminded me of many childhood days spend in applying lime juice over my face to get a fairer tone. I am glad I was made of thicker skin and got some brains after leaving school.
    Rajlakshmi recently posted…Of Daakuni Sister & little gyanMy Profile

    • Yes, the emphasis has to be on behaviour, values and personality not on lightening complexions to get successful. Through all the comments, I’ve seen how this bias has affected all of us at some stage in our life. Thanks for reading.

  22. Good post on awareness against our national obsession for fairness Rachna.
    Somali K Chakrbarti recently posted…Double Tree by Hilton, Goa: Hotel ReviewMy Profile

  23. My view is that as a society we should stop watching films of any film actors who endorse any fairness products. Or maybe stop buying any products endorsed by these actors. Hurt them where it counts. Let their market share fall, their popularity stumble, maybe then they will wake up. Imagine if a huge chunk of Hindi-belt stops watching SRK films!
    Beloo Mehra recently posted…Quote Unquote 2: SleepMy Profile

    • The popularity of these big stars is a difficult beast to understand. When their fans overlook serious offences like drunk driving and killing people, a mere endorsement of a product will not even bring a frown to the faces of the fans. You can be sure that most of them will say that what is the wrong that he is doing. Of course, fair is beautiful. Conditioning is such. I have come across many such people who feel so superior if they are just a shade fairer to you. 🙂 It’s all a problem with the mindset.

  24. Our fixation for the fair skin color is so unfair!! Market is flooded with fairness inducing face washes, gels, cleansers, moisturizing lotions… I think the obsession for fair skin reached its height with the introduction of Clean & Dry Intimate Wash to brighten the skin around vagina!
    Shilpa Garg recently posted…Lock and KeyMy Profile

  25. I thought the whole ‘Fair and Lovely’ branding itself was so ridiculous and unfair, and then came ‘Fair and Handsome’. Whatever happened to Tall, Dark and Handsome? No, they had to change that too, to suit their definition of beauty.

    Some years back, I saw an interview of Kajol. She was being quizzed for her success in-spite of not being conventionally good looking. Yes, those were the exact words. Not conventionally good-looking. I for one, feel that she has strikingly attractive features. But I am certain that their conventions are surely and solely based on skin color.

    This mindset is aggravating to say the least.
    Shantala recently posted…Changes and PrioritiesMy Profile

    • I agree. It is insensitive and plain wrong to keep harping on fair is beautiful and negating all else. The overdose of these messages in the media and our films and television make things so much worse. Thanks for reading, Shantala.

  26. Deepankar on July 30, 2015 at 6:24 am said:

    Excellent post that is apt & very valid to spread awareness about to delink colour of skin & beauty.. The traces of d colonial culture left over are like hibernating monsters in our society. , culture & values.Need to sensitise the generation n our future…great effort being undertaken by various similar campaigns. Great post n will definitely go long way in educating the difference between skin colour and beauty….

    • Thank you so much, Deepankar. I agree we need to talk more and sensitize this generation and the previous one. We must stop hearing these taunts and feeling bad for oneself, in the process developing low self-esteem. Thanks a lot for your warm words

  27. The other day, someone had shared a scanned page from a children’s text book illustrating the difference between “beautiful” and “ugly”. The faces looked the same, the only difference was in the skin colour. I don’t need to mention which was which. What’s worse is that this was from a /textbook/!!!
    When Nandita Das took part in the “UnFair” campaign, she pointed out that the pictures of hers that went with the campaign (but shared by others, not those who were promoting the campaign) were lightened to make them look more “pleasing”. Imagine the irony! And the frustration.
    I hope the mindset changes, I really do.
    Sreesha recently posted…I Stood Rooted… Remembering [#Excerpt]My Profile

  28. Oh I have so many stories about skin colour. I even had someone ask me how is my son so fair when I am dark…just a few hours after he was born. Indians take this obsession to an entire new level.
    Jaibala Rao recently posted…You, Me and HerMy Profile

  29. You are talking about dark skin. Me being wheatish have also heard things like that. You have pointed it right. We are born and brought up with this mentality. Thank god for some people who on public platforms are ready to speak about it.
    Jas recently posted…The Days In BetweenMy Profile

  30. It is said that a dark skinned woman with 5 husbands was one of the causes of the Mahabharata war. Draupadi didn’t have Fair and Lovely to lighten her skin. She was dark and attracted all the kings and princes, young and old alike. Perhaps the society in those days, despite the disrobing incident, was evolved and not as degraded as of today.
    Sabyasachi Patra recently posted…Indian Mammals​-​A Field GuideMy Profile

    • I wouldn’t say that dark skinned women don’t have admirers. If you are attractive you will. But this whole association of dark with ugly is sick. Like you said, the society was more evolved back then.

  31. Fair and lovely ads are despicable and the models promoting them jar.
    Just look at our late ex president–who does not admire him?
    indu chhibber recently posted…#Old Age Blues–How to Cure ThemMy Profile

  32. Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, is an old saying. It means what is beautiful and what is not beautiful is subjective. What is beautiful for one may not be so for another.

    I have found people of all skin colours beautiful. If I have liked or not liked someone, it was not because of their skin colour. The point is the reason for liking or disliking is not skin colour, it is some other attribute. If a black person is disliked for being rude and arrogant, the fact that the person is black is only incidental. Because there are black persons who are eminently likeable.

    There may be people who go with skin colour to decide their likes and dislikes. They are the people who judge a book by its cover, or who go only by external manifests to decide the value of everything. May be some day such people will realise where the real value lies.
    Pradeep Nair recently posted…Midnight courtroom session and death penaltyMy Profile

    • Actually, I am not trying to quantify beauty here at all. Of course, beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. Hence there must not be any conventional standards of beauty. But look around you. You will find people equating traits like fair skin, slim body, long hair etc. to beauty. Like you said, perhaps some day those who judge you on shallow attributes will begin to look deeper. Thanks for reading.

  33. I agree Rachna. It requires concentrated advertising the reverse way and completely doing away with these kind of racial ads. Changing a society’s psyche is something that can happen only gradually but the derogatory depiction on public media, should stop immediately.
    Asha recently posted…The Professional HobbyistMy Profile

  34. When I happened to share my thoughts on colour doesnt matter, someone said ‘It’s so easy for you to say as you are fair.’ I said I wouldn’t be any different if I were dark and she just refused to believe that. There are so many things to be worried about and people choose skin colour. Wow. And I really dont have much respect for these Bollywood beauties, so I’d rather not get into that!

    And on being racist, I find it equally racist that people assume I’m a Brahmin just because I’m fair.
    Ashwini CN recently posted…Potpourri of My Life!My Profile

    • Yes, I have noticed that co-relation between being fair-skinned and being higher caste/class. It is also the reason why servants are typically projected to be dark-skinned. What to say! This weird thinking will get better as people get better exposure.

  35. Yes that’s a mindset deeply ingrained in our society Rachna. What is particularly derogatory is the name calling and what is even more ridiculous is celebrities endorsing these fairness creams to perpetuate these beliefs. I remember an incident of my childhood days when a friend of mine, who is very pretty, was not allowed to wear a bright red dress someone had gifted her due to her dark complexion. That was so very absurd.
    Somali K Chakrbarti recently posted…Hidesign – Rebel to a Mainstream luxury brandMy Profile

    • Imagine that. Absurd like you mentioned. Most people are stopped from wearing stuff based on weird notions. I remember that I used to stay away from whites, yellows and oranges, but my husband initiated me to them. They flatter me so much. I felt that I was foolish to have not tried them earlier.

  36. Rachna, loved your perspective on global mentality of skin color. I wanted to share a Nandita Das 20 min video on the topic, but couldn’t find this time in few initial keywords try. Anyway……..

    It’s said that Laila was dark complexioned, and so was Draupadi. In fact, another name of Draupadi is Krishnaa because of her dark complexion, but she is one of the most beautiful women ever born on the earth.

    It’s also said that love is blind; so if love sees colour, know that it isn’t love but something else in the guise of love.

    Wishing you the serenity of auspicious Saawan! 🙂
    Ravish Mani recently posted…Haiku Audio Challenge Prompt 3My Profile

    • Yes, I remember that video of Nandita Das’s. I guess, we just need to look around us, there are so many beautiful dark skinned Indian women. Like I mentioned, I was lucky to have a loving family and had loads of confidence. But when I come across women who withdraw and feel ugly just because they are dark skinned, it makes me so sad. To see that the mentality still persists as you can see from the comments is even more despairing. Always love your comments, Ravish. Hope you are enjoying the lovely monsoons as well.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

Post Navigation