Date: 2018-06-27 17:44:50
I've sat in front of my television screen and watched Yami Gautam apply the 'fair and lovely' cream on her face and recommend it to any other girl who seems insecure about herself. This was not the only time I had witnessed such an ad on national television, I've seen Shah Rukh Khan tell his fan to apply 'fair and handsome' so, that he can become successful in life. Similarly, I've viewed other ads over the years featuring Katrina Kaif, Priyanka Chopra and Deepika Padukone tell a country of brown-skinned people to make their skin color lighter. This makes me ask one important question, WHY?
To understand our obsession with fair skin, we need to rewind all the way back to the time we were ruled by foreign invaders. Apparently, The Aryans had come to India and had mixed their culture with that of the Dravidians. Here, there is an important point to understand- The Aryans are supposed to be the superior race and hence, fair while the Dravidians are supposed to be dark skinned which makes them inferior to the Aryans. India had been ruled by the British for centuries and the British always justified their place as oppressors because they thought of themselves as saviors of the dark-skinned people who were incapable of governing themselves.
Many actors from Bollywood have been accused of lightening their skin through cosmetic surgery and the list includes Kajol, Shilpa Shetty, Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone and Sridevi. There are also many actors from the Indian film Industry who endorse fairness creams and skin bleaching products. This is wrong as people who are true fans of the actors and have insecurities about their dark skin will feel compelled to try these products.
We have been made to believe that fair skin is beautiful while dark skin is a curse. I would like to give you a few examples regarding this philosophy.
"Bipasha Basu is so beautiful despite being dark skinned."
"She would look so pretty if she was a few shades lighter."
"She should try to bleach her skin, who will marry such a dark-skinned girl."
No, these are not my opinions but some of the things that dark-skinned people have to hear throughout their lifetime. Our minds have become narrow and we have made boxes, one box is labeled beautiful while the other is labeled ugly. We have filled up those boxes with things that society has taught us and now, we don't know how to empty those dirty boxes. It's time to reassemble our perception of what is beautiful and what is ugly.
India also has an elaborate caste system wherein it was understood that individuals belonging to the higher caste are supposed to be fair while those belonging to the lower caste are dark skinned notwithstanding the fact that people from the lower cast worked in the sun as laborers and hence, they were darker. But this also made a distinction between the ones who are superior and other's who are inferior.
I agree with the fact that we should all be fair but not in our skin tone. We should be fair in the way we treat people, our system should be fair to people from all walks of life and our justice system should be the fairest of them all.
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