Monday, April 9, 2012

The Unfairness Of Being Fair


courtesy : Google images


It’s a crime, not to be fair-skinned in our country. I mean God must have been vacationing in Goa for you to be born so dark. In India only the fair have the prerogative to be lovely. They get courted by all the hormonal adolescents of their locality, are wedded to the scion of the rich family, only to produce fair, cuddly babies. Yes, it’s as simple as that. Your fair skin is the passport to a bright future. Employers will chase you like an agitated swarm of mosquitoes, film producers will bring their Rolls Royce to a screeching halt and beg you to debut in their magnum opus and all you have to do is blush and smile coyly.

The world is at the fair maiden’s feet while her dark counterpart looks on longingly.

One look at the ads, TV serials and you’ll know what I’m talking about. The light skinned protagonist will usually be a confident, sassy girl ready to take on the world. The dark skinned girl on the other hand is invariably portrayed as a tragedy queen, whose cup of woe runneth over. She is usually a mousy-looking girl, who smiles once a month and has yet to discover a shampoo. Her future is as dark her skin.

Do you know what that means? That someone with a lighter skin is better than you just because of that. That your skin tone is more important than your degrees and trophies, more important than your struggles and travails that carved your personality, more important than the shine you spread in other’s lives. It is more important than being loving, honest and giving. It means that the fair one is somehow better and more deserving.

The fair always have an unfair advantage especially if it’s a she.

I am not quite sure which came first, the chicken or the egg - unfair media portrayals feeding on our insecurities or the regressive ads that end up reinforcing our colour bias. But I do know this for sure that the skin care industry makes a killing feeding on our fixation for fairness, promising us the sun, the moon and a handsome groom. In reality the “handsome groom” is an ugly, beer-bellied apology of manliness, who went all the way to Nebraska to get his MBA degree. He now earns a six figured salary, drives a Honda City and puts up with his blood-sucking boss’s tantrums. Of course he deserves a fair and comely bride!

It comes as no surprise that so many comely dames are busy slathering fairness creams, readily believing that a tube is an answer to their life’s woes. Disregarding the health risks attached; the fact that most ayurvedic creams contain a harmful alloy of metals - we continue to be largest consumer of fairness products in the world.

And for those of us who care a damn, it seems the entire world is conspiring against our multiplying melanin. It’s tough to find skin care lotions without hidden fairness agendas. From your humble soap, to your body cream, your talc, face wash, even your under arm deo - all of them are threatening to rob your skin of its colour. I mean, what the hell am I supposed to do with fair armpits? For chrissake they are meant to be safely tucked under my arms and displayed only when I have to flex them at 180 degrees! And it’s not that I spend the better part of my day, hanging from a rod, in the neighbourhood park.

And just when you thought fairness could not get any lower, it hit rock bottom with an “intimate wash” that claims to make your privates fresh and fair! What next? An AC that releases fairness inducing ions or lingerie that promises to scrape off your ugly dark skin!

According to Devdutt Pattanaik, renowned mythologist, we were introduced to the politics of colour very early in life, in the most surprising of places; in children’s comic books. We had Gods who were always pink, demons who were always brown and dark gods who were always blue (the colour of divinity). Colours convey the deeper truth – while white stands for domesticity, knowledge, ascetic transcendence: black represents wantonness, desire in all its rawness, nature in its primal elements.

Is it that in our desire to be cultured and in our aspiration to be other-worldly, we choose white over black? No wonder we’d rather be called wheatish, honey, olive, dusky – anything to escape being tagged as dark skinned.

Ironically it is the same earthy tone our western counterparts so crave for. From frying themselves under the sun and risking skin cancer to letting artificial ultraviolet rays in tanning salons give them the bronzed makeover – they will go to any lengths to get rid of their fair complexion. A classic case of what you have is what you don’t want!

Thankfully there are many of us who’d rather be accepted as who we are rather than how we look. We choose to accept and live with our ‘so-called flaws’ and don’t let others trample over our self-esteem. And those of you, who think that a lotion making tall claims can improve your sense of self worth, remember this – if someone likes you for your complexion and not who you are, that person is not worth it.

116 comments:

  1. Well researched , Purba! As if all this was not enough we have now fairness creams for men too!The fixation for fairness has gone a bit too far:)

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    1. And the saddest part is that a superstar is endorsing this regressive mindset.

      Delete
  2. We have a fixation for white skin. For many beauty is skin deep. The fair skinned one gets life served on a silver platter. I think it also stems from the old custom when the Royals were extremely pale, since they never went out in the sun. And the "tanned" skin was the mark of labourers.
    There is some truth in the ads. But showing that a girl wins a chess competition or gets selected in the tennis squad after she applies the fairness cream, is an insult to everyones intelligence.

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    1. An insult to our intelligence yet hordes of gullible people fall for it, sad isn't it?

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  3. Its good to know that there are women around who know more. I can't imagine to count all categories of people who pestered me over the years when I was a kid. We are the biggest racists in the world, for most of our "well educated and Sabhya-Samaj" people discriminate between their own kids based on skin colour. And WTF is fair underarms....!!!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. God forbid if you have a sibling who's fairer and more attractive! Brace yourself for a lifetime of taunts.

      Agree Manu, we are a nation of racists.

      Delete
  4. It does start very young. Many girls are not even allowed to play outdoors for fear of skin darkening!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And our skin produces melanin to protect itself from sun damage. Even excessive usage of sun block creams is harmful!

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  5. I remember envying this girl in college who had super gorgeous chocolate skin...and she used to hate her complexion btw. At 5.8 she had all the makings of being a world class model. I told her this, she laughed. We went our separate ways post college. She went on to win the 'Look of Year Contest' and is a model of repute today!

    Bottom line, white is the way the world, at least this side of the globe goes. And a very few will have the conviction that 'skin colour' ain't the determining factor about a person at all. Sad but true...

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Scratch the surface and you"ll discover there's a racist in most of us. Colour bias and prejudices that have been handed down through generations.

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  6. Yes Purba bang on! I myself don't know what is feeding on what like you pointed out. And, did you know that in a country awash with sunshine, we have a new disease on the block -- Vitamin D deficiency. We are supposed to absorb it from the sun. Well, the obsession for fairness is so huge that no girl/woman now even men in their right mind should venture out in the sun. It is absurd! And, it is really sickening the ads in TV and the horrifying matrimonial ads too. You are right; it is so difficult to find a single product that does not say fairness -- it drives me up the wall. I think the answer lies in us not commenting on people's colour all the time over their other skills. I pointed this out in one of the posts to the author that even if done unintentionally the colour stereotype just keeps getting reinforced when we keep addressing people by their colour not their talent. Well, I am proud of my dark skin and look quite good too :). Feeling comfortable in one's skin is really crucial to happiness.

    http://rachnaparmar.com

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Yes and most of us are afflicted with it. And it effects our bone and muscle development.

      There have been instances when I had to walk out of the store because most of their skin products were endowed with "fairness vitamins"(whatever that means!)

      It takes a confident woman to realize that there's more to her than just a pretty face :-)

      Delete
  7. very very interesting....and not just women/girls...now the fairness disease has spread to the men...with so many fairness creams catering exclusively to them!!!


    http://sushmita-smile.blogspot.in/

    ReplyDelete
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    1. It's a scary trend and it's not getting any better. In fact it's getting worse.

      Delete
  8. Like you said, this has a lot to do with popular culture and it much predates our own present time. The 'fair maidens with flowing golden hair' of British and European culture and our own mythology, as you put it, shows us that people have always gravitated towards the lighter complexion. The reasons you gave actually make sense. It's just the hype that does not, neither ours nor the European and American people's for just the opposite.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. And it's upto us to say bullshit, I care a damn!

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  9. Purba, now even men are under the fairness spell. There's that totally gross advt. where Shah Rukh sarcastically tells a sissy looking guy to use "Men's fairness cream". While the obsession with "fairness" is totally gross, i am gratified to "report" that most of my men friends were keen on brides with complexions a la Nandita Das/Smita Patil. Oh, but perhaps I am talking about a different generation.

    I do remember seeing one ad where they all say "lucky girl" in the beginning when the girl is dark and she's oh so lucky to be "liked" by the prospective fair-crazy groom. Then she uses that fairness cream and voila! they say "lucky boy" in the end.

    Still, it is an amazingly MCP-fied society and most commercials are portrayed as though the woman must make all the effort while the guy sits back and enjoys himself. Urrgh.

    Incidentally - did you know that Hindustan Lever claims that their "Fair and Lovely" sachets bring them the max sales revenue? And a survey shows that every household currently has or has had in the past few weeks, a fairness product from them? That made me mad because I certainly don't believe in fairness stuff. Then my son reminded me about the sachet that came free with some other product we regularly buy. Sigh.

    Great read - your post :-) I am totally with you.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Shahrukh gets paid in crores and some silly boy readily falls for this con.

      Yes, I am aware that Fair and Lovely brings home the bacon. But claiming all households have used it is total bullshit.

      Delete
  10. Ooops - I am in the "dark ages" I am yet to encounter the intimate wash :D

    ReplyDelete
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    1. It's a disgusting ad. Glad that you missed it.

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    2. Ha ha ha I know......saw it and could have completely understood if the hygiene bit was sold. The ad has the girl putting a lipstick (or keys...dunno)in the pants??? My 10 year old daughter looked at me in disbelief....and I switched the channel!!!!!!

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  11. Bang on! One couldn't have put it better

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  12. Well the fair skinned ones have their woes too! If they get pimples they stand out like red beacons on a white skin and even a slight exposure to the sun leaves you bright as a Tomato :) Give me a darker skin tone any day :)
    But on a serious note Its sickening this fixation for all things fair– Just imagine the kind of messages we send out to the girls out there - you’ll only win competitions, become confident and get a god groom if you are fair ! Bollocks I tell you! I think the advertising world should work a little more responsibly here– they are actually sending out signals to all the dark skinned people that unless you lighten your skin color a few shades, life really has nothing to offer you!
    On the other hand I’ve seen the other side too – People wondering why I am single since its so easy for a fair skinned girl to find a groom, and once at work when I was worried before making a presentation a lady actually came up to me and said why are you so worried about facing people after all you are so fair – So now we automatically bag software projects for our companies because we are fair! And when you try telling people that skin tone just doesn’t matter – they smirk and respond – yeah you can say that – you’re fair after all ! WTF !
    And seriously.. intimate wash that makes you fair !!!! what next !

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Admakers lie with impunity, make false claims, resort to dirty tricks - anything to make their product sell. Why not have regulations for media? If we can ban cigarettes, why not fairness creams?

      Delete
  13. Our society needs nothing. They can create an issue over nothing. I hate the complexion bias. I am a dusky girl, but I'm more than happy.

    I don't get harsh sunburns, my pimples (when they come) don't become pink.. SO many things. Not that I have anything against fair people. It's just to throw light on the fact that even dark/ducky/wheatish complexion is in.. All you need to be is confident and not get bogged down by these things.

    All in all Great post :D

    ReplyDelete
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    1. But that confidence comes with age. Till then one has to put up with barbs from relatives and "well-meaning" friends.

      Delete
  14. ...ask Naomi Campbell who dared to be what she is today. People just need reasons to BS.

    and when would ppl graduate to the levels to understand this...."if someone likes you for your complexion and not who you are, that person is not worth it"?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Being comfortable in your own skin is a tall order, but a lot of us are getting there, aren't we?

      Delete
  15. Well said, Purba! Around of applause, please! You rightly point out the color discrimination starts very early, right from comic books. I am dark and i love every bit of my complexion:) To hell with dumb headed fair girls wedded to ' beer bellied' aliens:P

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    1. And am I glad that there are women like you who are happy with what they are!

      No one is perfect and it's time we accepted that :-)

      Delete
  16. I can totally relate to this. I am dark skinned, yes dark and not wheatish or any other milder word for a dark complexion. And yes I have faced A LOT of issues due to this. A guy(yes you are right, pot bellied mba) rejected me, when my parents were looking out for a groom for moi. Ask why? 'Gori' ladki chahiye bete ko. Again why? Bacche bhi gore paida honge.

    And to add to it, we have all the fairness products to glorify the need for a fair skin even more. Accolades to Chitrangana Singh(the actress), who refused to endorse for such products.

    I loved this post!

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  17. Me too..I am happy with my dusky complexion... though a few extra inches vertically and minus a few inches horizontally would be welcome.

    But seriously, in a nation where a girl child is battered and thrown away in garbage bins, a lot needs to be changed.
    Well written.

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    1. Cheeky as ever!

      The girl child needs a mother who's strong and independent.

      Delete
  18. I agree,fairness creams & other fairness products are the most useless products available to us. But the reason they are available in such abundance & variety are the consumers & not the manufacturers. As for banning the fairness product's endorsements would it really help ? Most of the people who buy fairness creams are educated enough to make their own decision about what's best for them. Plus, the average consumer is so much aware of the product that it would hardly matter if we see any advertisements or not !

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Where there is demand there will be supply and when the market gets saturated create new demands. But do we really have to fall for it?

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  19. I cannot agree more to this post. I have been through comments and lots of struggle in the marriage front because I wasn't fair enough as per standards set by the society. This type of discrimination is what we give ourselves and we blamed the British for calling us black and untouchable. We deserved no better ! And about the intimate wash and the whitening deodorant- these are the ultimate forms of insult to womanhood. Even though mine was a love marriage, my parents tried to arrange my marriage before I told them about my guy, and thats when I came to know how fair skin biased are these so called educated people in India! And university educated since generations ! Chee ! Take a close look at the matrimony sites - slim, fair bride wanted - everywhere. From cleaner to CEO. Everyone wants that slim and fair bride. Our children will grow up in such a society and be biased themselves. The fairandlovely has done enough marketing to spoil the entire ethics of the nation and are now enjoying the fruits of their achievements, probably. They probably can sit back and enjoy - cos the profits will last for all their twenty fair generations.

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    1. And these lotions do not make you fair but sallow. A healthy complexion looks far better than a skin bleached by harsh chemicals.

      Demand a fair & lovely bride and treat her like trash!

      Delete
  20. Scary!! It was as if you were robbing my thoughts! It's really nice to meet someone who does not judge their entire worth by skin color! What is utterly ridiculous is the fact that my dermatologist was adamant that I use a face wash which would lighten my skin tone in-spite of my assertion that I love my dark-ish skin! The fact that we are speaking out about it is a great sign and lets hope that this derogatory beauty products vanish from our country! :)

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    1. Why not boycott such products? That should be a good start!

      Delete
  21. We're a Fairness Obsessed country. You got it spot on.

    What happened to the Tall Dark and Handsome man? We all want John Abraham clones with beefed up bodies and fair skin. He asks the men to use fairness face wash too.

    The latest obsession is with "fairer underarms". We now have to buy deodorant to ensure our underarms can be showed off?

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    1. And women are apparently buying it! And it makes you wonder, next is what!

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  22. Glad to see a post about this. You hit the nail on the head. The whole fairness obsession gets to be too much and almost makes me resent being Indian sometimes. This is why I hate ads like "Fair and Handsome".... as if duskiness isn't beautiful! Has anybody seen Rani Mukherjee or Deepika Padukone lately?!?!

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    1. We have quite a few dusky female superstars but on screen they are made to look fair to pander to popular demand.

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    2. And guys actually look better when they are dark... Dark complexion makes them look more masculine...

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    3. There is something called TDH...Tall Dark and Handsome. People seem to forget that also. Agree to Pritz. Darker men have more masculinity quotient than the clean shaven Neil Nitin Mukesh types !

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  23. appriciate you for such a thoughtful post

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  24. A fair post! Jokes apart.. Well said Purba..

    The worst ad is where they insult institutions by saying that they judge contestants by their complexion...

    The only fairness product I am not against is the one which says it makes your body as fair as your face.. It makes sense as you want to look the same color in all the visible places..

    And Kajol looks better in real life and darker in Baazigar than the fairer Kajol in Olay ad. Even Rani and Lara look bad when they are made fair... Kareena wears a darker make up cz she is that fair that she looks bad... But yeah some people look better only when they are fair cz that color suits their skin for example Amrita Arora(Malaika Arora Khan's sister)...

    Sadly in Indian languages, Khoobsoorat or sundar associates with fair skin also.. For beautiful gals with dark skin they call saawali..

    And not to forget a daily soap with 2 sisters, one fair and other dark... Same goes with the movie Vivaah....

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    1. Sadly, an average looking girl with fair complexion will still be considered attractive but a dark girl has to be stunning to make the mark.

      It's only on foreign shores they are considered exotic.

      Delete
  25. Purba,

    Very unfortunate, this fair colour fixation. I have seen some amazing beauties who made one take note of them and were dark skinned. They oozed with confidence and charm. I fully agree with you what you said in closing lines.

    Take care

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    1. Same of our greatest beauties are dusky!

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  26. Such a sad topic and I still found myself smiling. Pit plain fairness against a sense of humour and guess what wins for me? Honestly though, every human (yes even the fair and lovely) feels they have some shortcoming. The trick, I am told, is to allow yourself to indulge your misery for a limited time of the day and not allow it to impinge on the rest.

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    1. Nobody is perfect Kay and when we love someone it's for the person he/she is.

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  27. Wonderful, Purba, as always! The most ridiculous(even hideous)is
    fairness creams for men...pathetic man!

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    1. I am sure scores of young men are still buying it.

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  28. as always, thoughtful post! and yes, i've come across several ignorant aunties who's only 'condition' is that their daughter in law by fair. like, seriously? is that all you hope for? i mean, not a nice woman who'll love your son, but just any random white skinned girl?

    and yeah, the men are being idiots too these days. why white?

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    1. So that they can show her off to their friends?

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  29. Draupadi was dark and considered to be very beautiful! But people have forgot that...wrote about this a long time ago.

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    1. I remember having read that somewhere. Interesting to note that her dark skin is rarely mentioned.

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    2. That's why the other name of Draupadi was "Krishna" - because of her dark skin. Even Sita was not fair, neither were most of the mythological heroines. This obsession for fair skin probably came with the Aryans.

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  30. A very well-written post. I have always found this irony amusing that white people try so hard to "get a tan" even using chemical sprays and suntan lamps to acquire the same shade of colour that millions of Indian are trying to rid of.

    According to research though, the most desirable shade of skin is the one Indian men have naturally.

    And I agree, we are the worst racists in the whole world, segregating people into pigeon-holes based on any reason under the sun.

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    1. A natural skin tone is the best. Why try changing something that God has given you!

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  31. Got my hands on your post after many days ..i must have missed some ..i will just check...you are as entertaining & astute as ever...and do you know only fair girls can sing well notwithstanding Lata & Asha.

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    1. LOL! what correlation can your skin tone have with your singing prowess?

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  32. This is so sad and true. You have brought the issue out brilliantly and with your trademark satire. I agree that a lot of it has to do with our notion and association of a superior culture with the Fair and the West. We hated the British but still love their color. Just a couple of days ago, I was watching a debate show on the exact same topic and it was surprising to hear all the justifications (both men and women) give for the appeal towards fairness. A very important post, brilliantly written.

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    1. The same reason why people acquire accents on the plane ride itself!

      And thank you so much:-)

      Delete
  33. Well, my complexion is dusky but I never dreamt of being fair. Irrespective of people liking fair girls I love my complexion:) I got a marriage proposal some days back and as expected the guys Dad wanted a fair daughter in law :) The question asked to my mom on phone call was "Is your daughter Fair?" LOL.. Silly world:)

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    1. Strange isn't it, that your fair skin tone is considered a virtue?

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  34. When I was in college, I had this dark friend who fell in love with a fair girl. The sisters of the girl had a look at the guy and rejected him telling the kids will be dark.
    I am dark and it took me 25 years of my life to get comfortable with the kind of things I heard, especially when almost all people around me are much fairer than me.
    My mom-in-law still asks me to apply 'fair and lovely' and talcum powder as my husband is fairer than me. I give her big grin and a kiss when ever she does that :) Poor MiL, she is also just a victim.

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    1. The kind of beating your self-esteem takes, every time someone tries to dismiss you because of your dark skin! It's only with age and experience we realize, how petty it is.

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  35. Beauty is skin deep, they say..so next I think they'll be selling creams to whiten our insides :D

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    1. When they run out of body parts, they might :D

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  36. I've been planning to do a research on this clean and fair thing. Your blog was helpful. Give this a try, if you find the time : http://www.firstpost.com/living/who-has-the-fairest-vagina-of-them-all-271179.html

    don't know if you'll be able to access this page, but it's been awesomely written:
    https://www.facebook.com/notes/ami-misra/mirror-mirror-on-the-wall/10150752351770769

    ReplyDelete
  37. Ah beauty. In the eyes of the beer-holder!

    Incidentally, this fairness craze is well-researched and is known to be caused by the association of "white" with colonial superiority. Something as deep-rooted as that needs to be tackled with complete ostracism (like "racism").

    That needs some serious concerted effort from a whole lot of influential blokes. Not happening anytime soon!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. One would expect the media to act more responsibly. Those regressive ads should be banned!

      Delete
  38. I just joined indiblogger and saw this article - when you have the time please do visit www.darkisbeautiful.in, or the fb page www.facebook.com/darkisbeautiful.

    We belong to a network of women called Women of Worth, and we started this campaign in 2009.

    We'd love you to share your thoughts with us :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Would love to. Thanks for sharing the link :-)

      Delete
  39. hanging from a rod at a park ....:D nic1
    well there is no denying the fact dat our nation is full of racists, of all the things in the world, it is the skin tone dat matters and more so when a family is choosing a bride for their son; an equally beautiful, dark-complexioned girl is not considered worthy. it is a shame dat even the educated people are brainwashed into prioritising complexion over a lot better things. this is our incredible India where even goddesses are believed to be fair and gods are darker (deep blue actually). i say when will we grow up??

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    1. With education, awareness and persistence.

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  40. So completely agree.. :)
    http://solitudesublime.blogspot.in/2011/08/my-fair-lady.html

    ReplyDelete
  41. Great post, Purba. The associations with dark and fair are actually rooted in linguistic connotations of desirability and opposites. It is there in cultures and languages across the world regardless of the dominant skin color of the group. What is sad is that these beliefs are subscribed to and endorsed by a lot of educated and so called "liberal" people who do not feel there is anything wrong in identifying skin color with acceptability or desirability. South of the Vindhyas, we envy the Fair and the Lovely of the NCR. :)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Class prejudice manifests itself in bizarre ways. The way I see it, the quest for fair skin is aspirational.

      Delete
  42. Nice post
    http://freedomofexpression-rahul.blogspot.in/

    ReplyDelete
  43. The way you write, its surprising that I found you on frontpage of Indiblogger only today. Awesome post, laughed out loud when i read "For chrissake they are meant to be safely tucked under my arms and displayed only when I have to flex them at 180 degrees! And it’s not that I spend the better part of my day, hanging from a rod, in the neighbourhood park".

    Time to check out your other posts. Ciao.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Flattered, honoured that you liked what you read. Compliments never fail to cheer you up :-)

      Delete
  44. Hi Purba,

    Amazing post...though this topic has been like the elephant in the room, nobody dares to actually express what is on their mind. Love the fluidity and clarity with which you have put forth the realities. Especially the first paragraph and how you talk about fair parents giving birth to fair babies, was great and catches the reader's attention right away...

    Keep Blogging,
    Amruta

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    Replies
    1. I have to make sure that I grab your attention and make you read the entire thing :D
      Glad I succeeded.

      Delete
  45. its so sad that we look only fairness...
    we should learn from the west where a fair white girl marries a dark african boy....
    they dont see on colours.

    eeven the highest paid models are dark in colour.

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    1. Racial profiling exists even in Western countries.

      Delete
  46. Ok. After all the serious discussion and I completely agree with you. The armpits part had me almost fall off the chair. Love your humour. N I have 2 lovely niece's of 4.5 & 1.8 years. The elder one is on the darker side n the younger one is very fair. During a very recent conversation the elder one said to me, "Pishi will you buy me Fair & Lovely ......"I can't remember the name of the cream.I wanted to murder the damn people who had put such a notion into the head of a 4.5 yr old. N then I realised I would have to commit mass murder. We are a country full of racists. Unfortunate, but true...

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    1. Isn't it sad? A 4 year old made to feel inferior because of her skin tone!

      Delete
  47. While reading this post the SRK ad came in my mind where he puts all his fairness gyan to a wrestler. Indians jaago re :P

    Weakest LINK

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    1. Money rules! The man is even willing to sell Navratna lal tail.

      Delete
  48. I read about the intimate wash ad on twitter and I thought that people might be overreacting,having missed the hygiene bit in the ad but when I finally saw it ,disgusting is all I can say.'Hanging in the neighbourhood park'was funny:D I remembered doing precisely that as decades ago but who cared about armpits back then?

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    1. My eyes popped out when I saw the ad. But now I am sick and tired of the "fair vagina" jokes on Twitter.

      Delete
  49. That was nice to read Purba
    I just hopped over from Shail's blog to read what others have to say on this "fairness" issue and yours was one of the blog posts I read on this subject.
    I agree with everything you say.

    Advertisers are raking in millions on some illogical desires that many people have.
    Fairness is just one of them.
    My email spam folder is full of mails advertising creams that promise to increase the length of a particular part of the male anatomy.
    It is unbelievable that even today they find suckers falling for such stuff.

    What is strange is that fairness matters to some of us only when we deal with human skin colour.
    In animals, fairness is a non issue.
    An ebony black Arabian horse looks as handsome as a white steed.
    A black dog is not considered inferior.
    A back cat merely brings bad luck but is not bad to look at.
    Our farmers love the oily black skin of a fat buffalo and it is as good to look at as a white cow.

    We still fancy black hair, and fight back graying hair with hair dye.
    I know people who fancy an all black car.
    Presidents drive around in them.
    A black suit on a man looks great.

    I love a black and white document, I don't care for coloured inks or coloured paper.
    Why has a dark colour become an issue only when it pertains to the skin?

    We suffer from various illogical prejudices.
    Colour is just one of them.
    What about directional prejudices.
    Why is "left" considered bad and "right" considered okay.
    Why is top okay but bottom not good?
    Up is good, down is bad. Why? Up and down are merely indicators to how near we are to the earth.
    Why is "tall" good and "short" not okay?

    We are silly aren't we?

    Regards
    GV

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Beautifully put sir!

      *Doffs her imaginary hat"

      Sharing this comment on my FB page.

      Delete
  50. Did you hear about the whole Samantha Brick episode?
    The original article, the backlash and the later apologies provide quite a lot of fodder. . .

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2124782/Samantha-Brick-says-backlash-bile-yesterdays-Daily-Mail-proves-shes-right.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Bigmouth for the big tip.
      I just had a look at the link.
      For those too lazy to click, it's a blog post by a lady who complains that she is being hated because she looks so good! It has a few pictures of her.
      It received over a million hits and over 5000 hostile comments ridiculing her for her conceit. The comment box is closed now.
      Interesting.
      I found her an average looking woman.
      The quality of her writing was also average.
      All you lady bloggers out here in India write much better.
      But life is unpredictable.
      Sometimes the strangest things go viral.

      Kolavari Di was an average kind of melody.
      It went viral and no one has explained why.
      This is just another Kolavari Di.
      Read and forget if you have time to kill.
      If you don't read you miss nothing.
      The lady has every right to her views.
      I would have just ignored it.
      I don't understand the furore it created.

      Just updating everyone.
      Regards
      GV

      Delete
  51. India happens to be the most racist country with most people of the same race! Ironic, isn't it!

    ReplyDelete
  52. Wrote about it 3 years ago...sadly nothing has changed...let me know what u think of it!

    http://prateekmathur-politicallyincorrect.blogspot.com/2009/06/its-beautiful-worldor-is-it.html

    ReplyDelete
  53. Exactly my thoughts!! I have nothing else to say. You may like to look at a similar post that I did on the same topic. Though not as immensely popular as yours .. it says what I want to say!

    ReplyDelete
  54. purba, one of the comments on your another blog mentioned about google reader! dunnoe how i was unaware of this apps! so i have added you there and this post comes to me as unread! good that i have added my wanted bloggers there and will get updated when they post something! yeah! the post was good and we are heading into a color racism era! freaks my brain out, to think of what a elevation can a human brain get when developing a product and selling it off in this open market!

    ReplyDelete
  55. I am not fair and my mom is very fair.As a child I grew up listening to taunts from some of my relatives (no,not all) and worrying myself to death about my future (read getting married to Prince Charming!)

    As I grew up,thankfully,I grew wiser.I had a group of friends who loved me the way I am and I eventually stopped bothering about the color of my skin.Yes,I could've done without the constant taunts of my childhood.

    P:S: Hanging from the rods in neighborhood park,that had me in splits

    ReplyDelete
  56. Couldn’t agree more on this. I have seen dark girls having this inferiority complex of not being fair. Our Indian society is prejudiced towards the dark skin. This has seeped into our mindsets as well. Girls feel bad if they are dark. They feel they are not good enough in comparison to the fairer girls. The advertisements only play with this feeling. If you are dark, use fairness cream. This psychology is only being exploited by markets as well as grooms who ask for fat dowry if they are to marry a dark-toned girl.

    Divya Bhaskar
    MyGrahak.com

    ReplyDelete
  57. The problem is familial and societal pressure. The fair-toned cousins naturally hogs all the limelight at the family function, while the dark one is given those sympathetic 'she is so beautiful , just that she's dark"..In fact talking of stereotypes, there are people who have asked me "Ohh I thought all malayalis were dark!" :)

    ReplyDelete
  58. You couldn't have put this better .... "if someone likes you for your complexion and not who you are, that person is not worth it."

    ReplyDelete

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