October 19th, 2015
Image Source: RUfilmsIndia
We Indians are obsessed with skin colour. A clichéd of sorts. However, we cannot deny it does hold true for a large number of people who yearn for a fair skin, or consider the darker complexion inferior.And it settles in our minds in a variety of ways.
The first, and the most rampant one, is the ridiculous and absurd mindset that considers the dark skin a disadvantage to others. A crude example would be the borderline amusing sections of ‘Looking for a tall, fair groom/bride’. A more heart wrenching scene is created, however, when school children ostracise a dark-complexioned child from their games. The content of melanin pigmentation in an individual’s skin should say nothing about his/her personality, and should, in no way, affect our perception of the individual’s worthiness. We need to grow beyond the superfluousness of skin deep beauty and look beyond appearances. Most importantly, this needs to be explained to children from a young age, so they do not develop rigid, irrational notions.
The second, more occult version can be illustrated with this example:
“The one standing to the right? The darker one?”
-“Yes, the one wearing blue.”
-“Huh! What do you mean ‘the darker one’?! Stop being such a racist.”
In response to those who agree with the third comment, why do you consider the first statement derogatory and not the second? This is where the infamous double standards set in. Racism lies not in perceiving dark skin as such, but in associating dark or fair skin with inferiority. Thinking skin colour is a sensitive issue will only take us deeper into the pit. Instead, we should reach a level of maturity where we understand that skin colour is not an issue at all.
The third and final aspect, is an individual’s perception of self. Victimisation can be successful only when the supposed victim allows himself/herself to be made to feel inferior. So today, instead of pointing fingers at a so-called superficial society, let’s introspect. You may be dark, you may be fair. You may choose to wear blue, or you may choose to wear red. The day every one of us realises there is not much difference in the two situations is when we will truly and completely grow out of our skin colour obsession. Rather than shouting off rooftops the virtues of a darker or fairer complexion, each of us needs to realise complexion does not matter as long as a strong personality underlies. We need to understand that looks do not matter; not just while saying so to others, but also to ourselves. Stop trying to explain why your complexion, light or dark, adds beauty to your character. It does not. Your personality does. After all, nothing is quite as stellar as a person who can confidently say ‘Does it look like a personality like mine needs a pretty face?’. The best way to stop the society from pulling you down on any basis is to not feel inferior.