Prejudice against dark skin

Posted by: at 10/12/2016 02:36:00 am

India 12 October 2016:
Over the years, skin whitening has gained popularity which has led to plenty of skin fairness creams to enter the market. This has actually taught the young boys and girls to think that white skin is better than what they have been blessed with. These days, every other person is actually carrying a blonde skin, so now we live in a blonde, fair-skinned society. The natural beauty has thus become unacceptable. Even your matrimonial sites have a demand for fair skin over the dark one.

The heated debates and outrage over the news that actress Tannishtha Chatterjee, was 'roasted' for her dark skin tone, in a comedy show on television, is all over the social media. On this show, she was faced with comments such as 'kaali kalooti' and 'mooh kala hai'.

This prejudice against dark skin is not new, and the obsession of Indian people with white skin has promoted a 2000 crores annual market of fairness products in the cosmetic world. This twisted admiration for fair skin is most apparent in the matrimonial advertisements, which stress on every desirable bride to be 'fair'.

Dr. Anup Dhir, Senior Cosmetic Surgeon at A+ Medi Art, who has been getting a lot of requests from women asking for treatments for getting fairer skin, feels that this obsession has dominated the psyche of Indians for a long time, goes back to British colonial era, that being fair skinned, is better and more beautiful. Dr. Dhir says, "Our British rulers were white skinned, and so we equate fair complexion with power and superiority". It maybe the peer pressure or the demand for fairer skin on matrimonial sites that lead to women opting for these treatments.

As long a person, especially a woman, is fair, she is considered beautiful, almost disregarding her facial features.  This has led the markets to be flooded with cosmetic products like 'fair and lovely' and 'fair and handsome'.

"People are generally obsessed with a thing which they adore, but do not have," Dhir added.

Dr Dhir adds, “If someone is unhappy with how they look naturally, then they can go ahead and make certain changes like dying hair, skin can be whitened, noses can be fixed and plenty of other cosmetic surgeries that are available. But shaming someone for dark skin is unacceptable. Because of the whitening phenomenon, black isn’t considered beautiful anymore. Its saddening to see that black is no longer how you ever want to be.”

Dr. Dhir hopes that our younger generation will be able to overcome this prejudice and be proud and confident of our color and race.

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