Indians obsession with fair skin is really old. It has been running through generations since the caste system started where Dalits were darker than the upper classes. And hence, dark skin has come to portray inferiority.
Even today, in the 21 century, this obsession with fair skin is displayed by all generations of Indians.
We often see women asking questions on various sites about how to get fair skin as their darker complexions prohibit them from getting married or good jobs. Everywhere people want good looking employees, especially when it comes to women, and even Indian families search for gori bahus. Those who accepts girls with dark skin ask for bigger dowries as compensation.
Dark skin does not mean you are ugly!
In 1978 when Unilever launched the face cream Fair & Lovely, it conveyed a message that fair skin is lovely hence everyone should want and obtain fair skin. Since then, this culture of wanting to get a lighter skin tone has continued to make women spend thousands over such expensive products hoping it’ll make them more desirable.
The ‘Dark is Beautiful’ campaign tried to right this grievous wrong.
A few years back, Nandita Das spoke about an incident regarding her dark complexion:
A respected Indian newspaper published a photograph of me online which had been lightened so drastically by the art director’s magic wand that I called the editor to complain and he apologized and replaced it with the original. The art director had thought he was doing me a favor by whitening my skin.
When other big names are supporting and endorsing fairness products, Nandita Das took a strong step against the craze and gave her support to the ‘Dark is Beautiful’ campaign, which challenges the belief that success and beauty are determined by skin color.
People should feel comfortable in the skin they are blessed with.
Society has created a stereotype of white being beautiful and calling dark skin ugly! This has become ingrained as it is passed down from one generation to another. Racism will go on till we start taking a stand against it.
And it’s not only in India, it’s the whole world that is involved in promoting racism.
Robert Gabriel Mugabe, the current President of Zimbabwe, in his speech he said:
1. Racism will never end as long as white cars are still using black tires.
2. Racism will never end as long as we still first wash white clothes, then other colors later.
3. Racism will never end if people still use black to symbolize bad luck and white for peace.
4. Racism will never end if people still wear white clothes at weddings and black clothes at funerals.
5. Racism will never end as long as those who don’t pay their bills are blacklisted not white-listed.
6. Even when playing pool (snooker), you haven’t won until you sink the black ball, and the white ball must remain on the field.
BUT I DON’T CARE, SO LONG AS I’M STILL USING WHITE TOILET PAPER TO WIPE, I’M STILL FINE!
We have to stop linking black with evil and white with good.
All these superstitions are actually making people’s lives worse. We are giving wrong teachings to our coming generations and that’s what stopping us from truly eliminating racism from our society!
Watch this video to know why it is essential to change and to change ourselves first: