They say, “Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.”
There is apparently a billion-dollar industry that strives for this ‘beauty’. Today we find a host of skin and beauty products stacked up on the racks of shops and supermarkets. They are available for all the standardized versions of ‘beauty’, ranging from skin whitening, skin lightening, to wrinkle prevention, pimple protection, and anti-ageing!
Now it is up to the beholder to choose their version of beauty. But, do we have a concrete definition of beauty? Is it printed in a manual or something? No, right? So, who decides which skin colour is the prettiest, or which is the most privileged?
We aren’t alien to the existing bias against the not so fair-skinned, which fuels this more than ₹3,000-crore fairness market in India alone. Yes! THREE THOUSAND CRORES IS THE SIZE OF THE FAIRNESS CREAM AND BLEACH MARKET IN INDIA. Plus, it is also expected to reach a whopping ₹5,000 crore by 2023.
I believe instead of proving this belief right, why not give a new viewing lens to our beholder? Maybe by not looking at people through the stereotypical and pre-set notions of beauty? By applauding, appreciating, and encouraging individuals who are comfortable in their own skin? By not giving in to the pressures and whims of society, or by giving fair treatment to individuals of all skin colours? By trying not to discriminate solely on the basis of skin colour, by not viewing skin colour as a barrier to beauty, or by accommodating, loving, and respecting all the lovely people out there with no conditions applied!*
It is time we free our beholder of all the prejudices and compartments, to view the world in a much more positive and healthier sense, and to acknowledge and applaud the diversity in our beauty.
We Indians have always learned from and lived with, our rich diversity. We speak 22 different languages, each state has its way of dressing, its own peculiar cuisine and way of life. Looking at the way in which we are trying to live with these diversities, we should also try to make peace with the diversities of our skin colour.
Today, we have companies that are changing their product names and adopting clever and more empathetic marketing strategies. They are trying to portray their ‘progressiveness’ and stay relevant to the changing times, though their ultimate aim might be customer retention and a positive brand image. Changing brand names and revamping of products may or may not help the society, but it is still a step towards change.
Likewise, let us all break away from the shackles of thinking “only fair is lovely” and instead, embrace the idea that “Fair or not, you are still lovely!”