The Superfluous Requirement of Being “Fair”
Wow, we have come a long way isn’t it?? Have we or Have we not ?? This is something that I want to quiz about??
Is Independence Day only about celebrating our freedom from the British rule, our rich Indian cultures, and traditions or witnessing our Tiranga flying up high with parades and cultural functions across the country, is it only about this??? I doubt… Well, voicing the long distance that our country has come, crossing rivers and dales of hitches and turning a beautiful 73 this 2020, believe it or not, we are still stuck in this – Superfluous Requirement of Being “Fair” aren’t we??
We are still living in a place where being fair is the criteria everywhere, right from our television screens to the big screen, from matrimonial print ads – everything screams “If she’s fair, she will do well.” calculatedly or inadvertently we do propagate the demand of a slim fair wife, and our so-called TV infomercials also don’t fail to remind us to use skin creams that can help us become fairer, the matrimonial sites dotted and specked with demands of a fairer bride. I just want to say this Loud real Loud.
Ladies and Gentlemen – Promulgating television advertisements on getting fair and beautiful by using a specific lotion is Unconcealed Racism and the bitter truth is that we practice racism right here, right now, in the neighborhood we call “Mera Desh” with pride.
The authenticity of colorism in India and the annoying predisposition to find fault towards women with darker skin is a type of racism. Well, one’s beauty should not be dictated by their skin. In fact, we have grown up watching many fairness creams equating skin color with beauty. As it is the place we live in, is ridden with so many forms of perspicacity on the basis of one’s sexual orientation, language, religion, dress appearance and of course one’s skin shade card, pragmatically overlooking the given identity that one is born with thus making it the most defining factor.
We often link the color of our skin to our self-esteem and confidence.
Being “Brown & Beautiful” is an oxymoron. In India, the effect of colonialism only bolstered the already existing color divide.
India as a country is still in its fruition and fairness should be the least of its concern. So, all you gorgeous souls reading this, each one of you is already lovely without the need to be fair.
This 2020, let’s gloat our rich heritage and open our minds to what is true and not what is fed. Are we less efficacious than the rest of the world because of our complexion? Does a fairness cream really upsurge our chances to become successful? Does it make you the CEO of a company or anything unrealistic?
A big NO .. it doesn’t … P.E.R.I.O.D. Indian women need to comprehend the worth of the skin they live in and be proud of it. Using a fairness cream will not help you ace an interview. Striving hard to become fair will increase your chances to be successful is an old instilled myth, only you have the right and the key to doing that regardless of any sort of creams or labels.
The fixation with fair skin is not new to Indian culture, though mythological stories also laud dark-skinned women for their beauty it was the British rule that contributed to the obsession of fair skin and has always made it a hallmark of beauty and thus, a prized possession. The stigma around dark skin is not a new spectacle, it is profoundly entrenched in our thought process, which has voyaged through decades of racial prejudices.
I have a premise for this inclination in India as we customarily value those things which are rare, isn’t it? We select only those things that delight our eyes and exhibit it to project how amazing our luck factor has been to our so-called society, coz no matter how much we evolve or achieve in our life it always backed with this famous statement that every “Brown Mom” in India will slam at you –
“Fairness” is something people find very striking in our country, especially men because they have been taught to think like that and everything around them advocates it, for starters – Parents, Media, and our society has, of course, played a major role imbibing inferiority complex with “Dark Color”.
My heart aches when I see this prejudice, the advertisements on our “Indian Idiot Box” ratifying and linking the skin factor to “Success”. Let me feed you with some ludicrous depiction of hidden messages – If you want to get noticed in your college and be a part of the cool gang, the reason being surprise surprise dusky is the root cause of your crushed confidence, but the moment she used a fairness cream and became snow white (Viola!!) she was a part of the cool gang, just like that. As a result, everyone wants to be fair, in fact, making good use of the digital platform that we have, to tutor this generation, our kids to never judge or categorize anybody because of their looks or color of their skin because that is just being callous and I hope that we stop being racist.
I implore, please chant this saying –
“If women would one day decide to be happy with what they are (physically), the whole beauty industry would crumble in a day!”
Well, for me it’s not “THE MOST” imperative criteria but when it comes to “Arrange Marriages” in India it’s like window shopping and everyone would want to get the best possible thing for yourself, right??. Thanks to the deep-rooted notions that are brainwashed into the brains of little boys by immensely ignorant and narrow-minded parents being fair and beautiful for women is considered as the most important criterion for marriages in India?
In India, talking to a stranger is not considered to be good, however, marrying one seems seamlessly alright, of course having the society norms taken into consideration you do not get to go out to know the other person in fact – Judging the book by the cover is the only option. Hmmm, now isn’t this fascinating??
Highlighting the value of Indian-ness and bearing in mind the so-called modernism, a lot of teenagers have come to terms with complexion not being a problem. Many years back touring into a supermarket just to select a cream that gives better health for one’s skin, was indeed a nightmare! With more than a dozen brands on shelves, no cream mentioning a good & healthy skin, instead always proclaimed they will give fairer skin.
These mocha-skinned divas in Bollywood have left us drooling as they have exuded beauty in many forms.
Be it Priyanka Chopra, Chitrangada Singh, Sushmita Sen, Rekha, Kajol Devgn, Rani Mukherjee, Bipasha Basu, Deepika Padukone, Smita Patil, Shilpa Shetty Kundra, has both literally and metaphorically taken us over the moon with their oozing sensuality and effortless sultry appeal.
Talking about Hindustan lever that later got a new identity and is now well known as Unilever, took me down the memory lane. My father started his career with Hindustan Lever in 1975, witnessed its transition to Unilever, later retired in 2012 (37 years) isn’t that impressive??
Back then people loved what they did and favored loyalty by retiring with the same company they started with, versus today’s trend of changing jobs in the process of earning a quick buck.
Reminiscing my childhood days of using almost every product of Unilever with Fair & Lovely being my top pick, canning the fairness part of it, I was in love with the fragrant perfume of the cream (People who know me well, will unquestionably know what I mean 😊)
Amidst the whole rumpus about appraising a person on the fairness shade card and of course reacting to the announcement by Hindustan Unilever of dropping the word ‘Fair’ from its ‘Fair & Lovely’ range of products to make it ‘More Inclusive’.
I don’t agree – Fairness creams do nothing but exploit this deep-seated diffidence that ascends from not fitting into that so-called characterization called Beauty thus giving us this stereotypical dream of beauty? Whether we like it or not, such marketing mirrors its roots in the authenticity of our society that forces us to fit into the centuries-old definition of beauty, where a fair facial appearance tops the list.
Fair & Lovely is Hindustan Unilever’s star product and captures around 50-70 percent of the skin whitening creams market in India.
Another achievement was to see the positive response of matrimonial sites too in eliminating its skin tone filter thanks to an appeal filed by Hetal Lakhani, who demanded that this precise feature reinforced colorism and discrimination. The matrimonial search engine will no longer allow users to look for partners based on skin color, well now this is certainly a huge plunge towards changing our fossil thoughts of our so-called stereotypical notion of beauty resulting in having millions of people believe that they are not good enough and that there is a possibility to improve their natural appearance. It was high time that this very notion of beauty is squashed and no amount of wrapping or re-packaging will relinquish discrimination based on one’s color once and for all.
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