The (Un)Fair Perceptions- How We Still Define Skin Colour!

Posted on March 29, 2012 in Society

By Minakshi Pharswal:

Wanted! Beautiful and educated girl for a handsome boy with 6-figure salary. Preferably, the girl should be ‘fair’!

Yes! This word needed some attention and even more importance than maybe the whole advertisement. The British came, ruled, ruined and went back but left one thing inscribed in the Indian mindset- obsession with Fairness!

Since ancient times, skin color is given a lot of importance. A woman prefers a fair man, a man prefers a fair woman and they both prefer a fair child. But what about good family, nature and even earning? Are not they worth giving a thought? Obsession with fairness seems to be a societal norm now. Whether you are in school, at home, in office or any public place, you attract more attention than less fair.

Being fair now means being beautiful too. That’s why all the actresses have started endorsing fairness creams flooded in the Indian market to show that that is the only beauty secret behind the heights they have achieved. They show upliftment in their self confidence after 7 days of using it and challenge you too for the same.

Are not some actresses like Kajol, Deepika Padukone and Rani Mukherjee worth giving a second look for they possess talent worth applauding and of course beauty worth admiring? Let’s remember how dusky beauties like Sushmita Sen and Lara Dutta became Miss Universe and how you fell for another dusky lady when you first saw her romancing John Abraham in Jism. Do I need to mention her name?

This obsession did not even spare the creatures from Mars who never even gave all this single thought in history. Handsome men also became a victim of this stereotypical mentality and had a new mission in front of them- To get fairer! When your favorite Bollywood star is advertised using some fairness cream and looking at top of the world, you obviously cannot ignore the fetish for the same… Isn’t it? But the case does not end here itself. Many men feel shy to accept its usage. ‘It is so feminine” — They say. Well, why embarrassed to accept it?

Even in the 21st century, Indians are following the societal rules followed since earliest times. Industrial, educational and every form of development, altogether also could not eradicate this notion of superiority of whites. Even though, nowadays, the “Un-Fair” rules are still followed in rural India on large scale, the modernity of urban India is still a victim of it to a great extent. Being fair is one quality of human being that overshadows every other aspect of ‘Fair’ living.

Next time while filing, reading or looking for an advertisement in matrimonial, concentrate more on achieved status of a person than the ascribed “Un-Fair” status! To add a little sarcasm to it, the wordings of Brit Hume cannot be ignored who said, “Fairness is not an attitude. It is a professional skill that must be developed and exercised.” So next time do not shy away from adding an extra qualification in your resume — “Fairness status – High!”

“Fairness is what justice is isn’t it”

Image courtesy: http://www.indiavision.com/news/images/articles/2011_08/217201/

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Ananya Krishnan

The only thing I find ironic is that while Indians crave for fairer skin, the so-called ‘white’ people, i.e. Americans, Europeans and Britishers, love tanned skin and try all sorts of methods to tan their skin and make it darker.

    Minakshi Pharswal

    yes this is the irony with Indian culture!!

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