The idea of fair skin is so deeply connected with wealth, power, and prestige that we just can’t seem to disassociate with it. If you are a fair-skinned female, you tend to sympathize with your dark skin counterpart, but if you are the latter, you would spend most of your day trying to look like the former.
All fairness creams have changed their brand wordings from fair to lighter tones, the functionality remains the same since the need is as much there as it was a few years ago. They know there is an anti-colourism movement going on and they need to reword to sell their product and keep it legal, the black market is too much hassle.
The cosmetic industry and its advertising of beauty and skin-lightening creams contribute to how society views beauty.
Today, many more voices are rising against racism and colourism. From fairness creams to filter copy stories, people are being made aware of this prejudice against dark skin that lingers like an unknown shadow for people.
Maya Angelou in her biography wrote that it’s not like a black woman can easily get the attention of black men, there are tonnes of a lighter-skinned or lighter-toned black girl who is everyone’s choice. Also, it’s no more a surprise that darker skin females are judged very critically, are abhorred, and are prone to all sorts of injustices and violence against them.
I am yet to see a survey where violence against women meets colourism. Let’s face it, this is very real, and more females are affected by this than males. This is because light skin is considered ‘beautiful’ and females have to be ‘beautiful’. Unlike males, whose success isn’t bothered as much by his skin tone.
All those females who make Tik-Toks or reels on how ‘dark is beautiful’ have put on a ton of lightning cream and camera filters to get that hue of shade that is bearable for the eye. Hence not all dark is equal, some dark tones are more avoided than others.
‘Try putting some besan(gram flour) on your skin‘,
‘Don’t go out in the sun‘,
‘Who will marry you,’
‘Try finding some job, anyway your parents will have to bear a lot of dowry for you‘ and so on. If you haven’t heard these comments, then you don’t have a dark skin tone.
Rarely do people talk about the hassle of dark-skinned women to be presentable or to have one shade lighter skin, to avoid the sun, to choose clothes complementing their skin tone along with their studies/jobs or other responsibilities. It’s not supposed to be discussed, the root cause can’t be surfaced up, else how would these advertising companies achieve advertising targets and also try to put up a face to fight for a cause.
Be comfortable in your skin, own it, flaunt it, says the beauty rep who herself is hiding under tonnes of whitening lotions.
Can we really go out with the person we had a crush on when we see him surrounded by light-skinned girls? Can we really be that champ at the workplace where everyone talks about beauty with brains? Can we really be comfortable in our skin tone, if people around us are not?