The country’s obsession with fair complexion has been there forever. And I don’t see a change in this mentality in the near future. We have been brought up in an environment where being fair is termed being beautiful and it’s considered to be the most superior quality a woman could posses. And no please let’s not think that it’s just the case with the uneducated and people in remote areas or the traditional families have this point of view. It’s the educated people, the ones who study from premier institutes like IIM & IIT too have this mentality. Now that they are so well qualified, they deserve a fair, thin, tall & beautiful girl. That’s what they slogged their asses off. Believe me, I have done my research.
And it’s not just the men. We women, we demean other women. We too give in to this hula-hoop of being fair and beautiful and objectify women. We want to get fair, our mothers want us to have fair complexions, else we would end up with a bad spouse. Yes my mother feels and believes and is rightful in thinking that my complexion is directly proportional to me finding a good spouse and my married life. My education from a premier institute, my personality,my work is all nothing but a waste. I’m not a good marriage material because I’m not fair. My mother and my sister are ‘blessed’ with fair complexions. They wonder why am I the ‘unfortunate’ one. What possible wrong or sin my parents would have committed to be punished like this.
No I am not playing a victim here, neither am I portraying my parents as villains. They have given me a beautiful life and the courage and education to speak up and write this. I am just a simple girl like you. I’m writing this on behalf of the girls who go through this situation in their daily lives. This issue is not big or small. But it definitely is a psychological issue.
This is a long battle. Almost seems like never ending. You cannot change people. But you can change yourself. And no by changing yourself I don’t mean you need to go under cosmetic treatments(although there is no harm in it, it’s a personal choice), I mean is that you don’t need anybody’s validation. You have to change your perception about yourself. You have to look at yourself in the mirror and say, “I’m not fair. But I’m lovely!”. You have to have the courage to say “I am tanned, I’m brown and this is my skin colour. Deal with it”. Don’t let anybody, not even your family to bring you down. Value yourself. It’s the only way you can make the opposite person realise your worth and look beyond your physical appearance. My skin colour doesn’t define me, it doesn’t represent the struggles I have been through, it has nothing to do with who I am. It’s just a part of my body and it’s an important part. I might as well embrace it.
Stay strong, love others and be kind.