An initiative by Debasree Deb
India’s unfair obsession with fair skin leaves me woefully inadequate. ‘The companionship and camaraderie between ‘Fair’ and ‘Lovely’ have strengthened leaps and bounds over the decades. As wishful as it might sound, I hoped against hope for a time when this prejudice would bite the dust. However, ironically, what I do see is ‘fair’ and ‘handsome’ becoming an equally popular propaganda.
Research suggests that people are genetically pre-disposed to associate white, and therefore fair skin with goodness and black or dark skin with evil and malice. Which is perhaps why the platitude ‘Beauty isn’t only skin-deep’ is reiterated over and over again in moral science lessons and yet almost all Indian goddesses, with the glorious exception of Kali are portrayed with excessively fair skin. In fact, although slavery may be a thing of the past, the ‘white skin fetish’ perpetuated by the multi-million dollar cosmetics industry has enslaved a considerable population into subscribing to Eurocentric patriarchal beauty constructs.
My growing up years were filled with a whole bunch of insecurities. Being brought up in the Northern part of India, amidst people with different shades of ‘fair’ or ‘white’ ignited a complex so inferior, further arousing emotions personifying the deep rooted prejudice. Not being able to bag that lead role in the school play or to ever play the character of Mother Mary in the customary Christmas narrative wounded the ignorant and innocent mind of the ‘dark skinned’ school girl.
As several years passed, my confidence has made me more confident. With age, you not only know better, you know yourself better. There is beauty in acceptance and when you embrace your flaws, you discover your innate personality. Today, I am comfortable in my skin and proudly pronounce myself as a woman of colour.
Through the #beyournakedself initiative, I call out to everyone to be proud of what you’re blessed with. Fairness creams or bleaches are never an answer. Ever wondered what you would look like with a fairer face and a darker body. A seemingly unpleasant sight. Pun intended !!
So let your confidence define you and there is nothing more distinctive than being yourself.
Until next time,
Stay Stylish, Stay You