Unfair And Lovely!
As a kid I still remember, how my neighbour Nani used to feed “Saffron” to her expecting daughter-in-law so that the kid turns out to be fair skinned. Later when he was born, he was massaged with turmeric and oil to enhance fairness and get rid of body hair. Did it work or not? Let’s keep that a secret! However, that raises another question – Why do we crave White skin and could we achieve it?
India [or read it as South Asia] is quite obsessed with “fair skin”, but blame it to a geographic location that generally people are staying in the southern hemisphere are said to have darker skin tone than compared to people living in the northern hemisphere.
So skin color has more to do with the climate rather than Saffron, Sandal and Turmeric!
Then what’s the fuss?
A new global campaign on social media against colourism - #unfairandlovely - is challenging the widely-held belief in many parts of the world that fair skin is the most attractive.
In recent weeks, three students from the University of Texas, Austin Pax Jones, a 21-year-old black student along with her classmate’s sisters Mirusha and Yanusha Yogarajah trended on social media. The campaign that was launched with #unfairandlovely asked people around the world to express their views and post photographs.
Ms. Yogarajah narrated her humiliating experience and how she readily agreed to be part of the campaign - Most of us are advised not to go out in the sun because we'll get darker. It's as if darkness is undesirable."In college, I was abused by a South Asian person who had lighter skin. And someone once threw a bleach balloon at me."
So just another campaign, how is it going to change people’s mindset?
Well, Ms. Yogarajah says - We wanted to start a conversation, and I think we have succeeded in that!
Sneha Goud@Sneha_goud on Twitter said I am not pretty DESPITE being dark; I am pretty BECAUSE I'm dark #unfairandlovely @disbcampaign #darkisbeautiful
No matter, keeping it under wrap would not solve the problem at least they are doing their bit!
The Audience Speaks
I spoke to couple of my friends regarding the same campaign; here is what they have to say –
Kanishka working for an IT firm since last 12 years says I have been termed as fair toned by people around me, in fact, comments like – tu toh Gori hai tujpe sab aacha lagta hai [ you are fair skin, anything would suit your face] always elevated my confidence. However, during my official visit to the UK I was shocked and scared when a group of school kids abused me saying – black! She adds – It’s not the skin tone that gets humiliated, but the country it symbolizes is ragged.
Another male friend Arpit says – I feel dusky is really sexy! The earthen pot after its final touch up glows and radiates the same earthen tone on skin also is radiating and shinier. Fair skin has issues; looks pale, and it needs more care to keep it blemish free. Dark skin can hide blemishes and appear smoother.
One of my friends' who is wheatish told me how she was pressurized by her family members to apply fairness creams when they were seeking a match for her.
How Dark Skin Tone Could Be Sexy!
Protection from harmful UV rays
Resistance to extreme cold and heat waves
Less risk of skin cancer
Makes you look younger
Hides scars, blemishes, and dark spots showing up just the smooth tone.
I wonder if white animals also abuse darker animals. Should white trees be superior to the dark ones? Why do we still gift a dark red rose on Valentine’s Day? Why do we wear black at all? Why are nights so beautiful and peaceful?
If all that could exist, so could the #UnFairandlovely skin tone as well! What’s your take?