Whether you like it or not, beauty standards have become a thing. Society expects you to look a certain way to be deemed as attractive. As a person who was born in a country where fair skin is celebrated, I’ve seen enough of colorism to know what it means and what it stands for. Some say that the British Colonial Rule is responsible for the idea – “White is superior” as the British officials would favor the light- skinned Indians for jobs. Whatever it was that fueled this concept, it still remains an issue. Nature has evolved but we as human beings haven’t- atleast in this context.
I visited a distant relative of mine once. I clearly remember her saying- “Oh ,what a pity! She isn’t as fair as her mother.” My eleven year old self hadn’t paid much attention to it but now that I think of it, it was such an unnecessary comment. It is ironical that as brown people themselves, people hate on others for being ‘too dark’. Colour prejudice in India is widespread and is openly practiced. Our country’s booming fairness industry is anticipated to achieve market revenues of more than Rs 5000 crores by 2023. As they say, the advertising industry feeds off our insecurities.
Some people feel the need to be lighter and choose to look whitewashed instead of embracing their own skin tones. Televisions are filled with advertisements of fairness creams and so called celebrities endorse such products. The strange part- Westerners want a tan whereas Asians want a paler skin tone. Well, we always want what we don’t have . The first step towards a change in this internalized mindset would be acceptance. Instead of seeking validation from others, why not accept ourselves regardless of how much melanin is present in our skin. It isn’t even that deep, it’s just a colour and we could do so much better than judging others on the basis of it.