Who decides what’s ‘desirable’? We have started to pigeonhole the concept of beauty, color, body shape and desirability. It’s like a vicious circle, expanding its radius and it’s terribly frustrating. Old cultural stereotypes have been a bane and obsession of fair skin-tone and hatred towards dark is one such example.
“Dark but pretty”! “Melanin overdose”! All these comments have been encountered at least once by most of the women and men as well, with dusky skin. No Black, No Red, No Yellow, No Neon! It’s like no colors for dark color!
Unfair & Lovely, Dark & Handsome:
We’ve a long list of dark and lovely divas who’ve catapulted to fame with their commendable acting skills and talent. Priyanka Chopra, the legendary Rekha, Smita Patil, Kajol, Konkana Sen Sharma, Freida Pinto, Deepika Padukone, Bipasha Basu, Chitrangada and the immensely talented, Nandita Das, who is a part of organisation ‘Stay Unfair, Stay Beautiful‘ ! These ladies need no description. Most of them are proud of their dusky skin color and flaunt it with elan.
And why just females! There are a lot of male artists who’ve been criticized for being too dark for an actor. And we say, “Tall, Dark and Handsome” is desirable. Irony! Yet, they’ve fetched so much that there is no looking back and no one gives a damn about their complexion. Do Amitabh Bachchan, Rajnikanth, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Irrfan Khan, Mithun Chakraborty, Nana Patekar, Sunil Shetty and Ajay Devgan need an intro?
But we still criticize and categorize people as “Ugly Ducklings”! Here are 4 major stereotypes we come face to face with, for our earthy complexion.
1. Finding a match:
Putting up a ‘dark’ pic in match-making site is a big dare, calling for obvious rejection. Dark spells doom for girls hoping to meet their soul mates on matrimonial sites if they aren’t naturally or by any possible means, light-skinned. Because ‘Wanted Fair, Slim and Beautiful’.
Well! We don’t look for such a hypocrite who would marry for fair skin rather than fair virtue. Both gender applicable!
2. Benchmark for Beauty:
Hundreds of millions of people around the world have dark or dusky skin colors. But fairness if still the benchmark for beauty. Magazines, TV, Cinema- everywhere only being fair is synonymous with being beautiful. Hence, there are various celebrity examples who underwent skin-lightening for roles or they are laden with suffocating layers of make-up.
Why can’t we just accept and love what our natural skin color is? Why so much efforts to be unnatural?
3. Un-fair obsession endorsements:
Indians believe that “fair is the real lovely”. In addition to this, the absurd endorsement of skin-lightening cosmetics like L’Oreal, Garnier and Fair & Lovely by Bollywood artists like Aishwarya Rai, Sonam Kapoor, Yami Gautam and many more. And this plaque of wanting fair skin has now spread to the male population as well with actors like John Abraham, Shahrukh Khan and Sushant Singh Rajput, asking men to ditch “ladkiyon wali fairness cream” with a “mardon wali” ones like Fair & Handsome.
Celebrities! Watch what you endorse. Think before you advertise. Because you are role model for many!
In a recent Fair & Lovely ad, a dark girl is shown with low confidence and a failure in life. And as soon as she starts putting fairness cream, she gets a confidence boost and says that she’ll match up to the guy with “accha job, own house, well settled” notion. So, the so called moral of the story is, dusky means low and inferior. Hence, you have to be fair if you wish to accomplish something in life.
Look! Confidence comes from what you feel within, not what light you stand in. At least not from these petty pretty fairness products.
We are not trying to criticize light skin tones in any way. But everyone should be comfortable in their true skin. It’s you unique ethnicity. Because melanin is something we are born with.
Thankfully, we have celebs like Nandita Das and Kangana Ranaut who speak out against this propagation of fair skin as ideal beauty standard. While Das is active with a campaign “Dark Is Beautiful”, Kangana turned down a fairness cream ad worth 2 crores, questioning the example we are setting for the youth.
Folks! Dark and fair, both are lovely. Don’t let anyone tell you’re too beautiful for dark or deep complexion. Because beauty is regardless of shade! Women need to empower other women, and so do men. Take pride. I love doing this! Do you?
“Lighten Up The Dusk!”
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