I am an olive complexioned Indian girl, if the same has to be told to you by my grandparents or their friends, they will say “iska rang thoda daba hua hai par features bahut ache hain”. I have been listening to this right from my childhood. I have had relatives come and suggest me the colours that I should be wearing or the colors that would “suit me”. My grand mother used to prepare special ubtans for me and used to apply it on me when I didn’t even know to spell complexion.
My maternal grand mother is fair and her husband, who is my nana not so much. As a result of this DNA mix my mother has her “rang daba hua” and my maternal aunt is fair and hence obviously prettier. My mother has been listening to all of this right from her childhood.
I don’t exactly recall when and how I stopped caring and when did I start finding myself beautiful in my own skin but it was the best thing I have done for myself. I used to think these terms and this ideology is restricted to the grand ma generation, but then I met i independent friends who have been auto tuned from their childhood in such a way that they also think “mera rang daba hua hai”. More so they reject their rishtas because “ladka kaala tha” and because “mere bacche gore nahi paida honge”.
Some friends have also tried to find out who is fairer, and that in turn makes that person more beautiful. Beauty is subjective but in India beauty is only present if you are fair. We are such a fairness obsessed country that one of my collegaue in my office told me that he had to pay less dowry for his sister inlaw’s wedding because she was “white”. Another friend wanted to visit a foreign country, when I asked her if she’d feel safe there, her response was “are main to gori hu na, muje thodi koi kuch kahega”.
The problem here is that people have been taught all this right from their childhood, the girls have been taught to keep off the sun else no one would marry them. We also fail to understand that we are a brown race and not the traditional definiton of “whites”. The country’s obsession with White also reflects in the animal they are defending these days, who else but our cow. Why? Oh, come on, It’s WHITE!!!