Sadly, we’re living in an era where dark skinned people have been made to feel unworthy. We are living in a society where whiteness is esteemed a marker of idealized beauty. Even some famous people have gone through such inferiority complexes that society has made them to believe. Nawazuddin Siddiqui has hinted just how difficult it has been for him to bag roles since everyone preferred actors with a fairer complexion.
He then replied this:
“Thank you for making me realise that I cannot be paired along with the fair and handsome because I’m dark and not good looking, but I never focus on that”.
Pakistan’s Obsession With Fairness
In Pakistan, it is stressed upon that beauty is only fair skinned. We all have witnessed the fairness complex at some point in our lives. Dark skinned girls always hear taunts about complexion. There are comparisons made between skin colors constantly.
Nowadays, Pakistani women are desperately trying to evade the sun by putting up layers of protective sunscreen and bleaching their bodies to get rid of their ‘awful’ tans. Moreover, skin whitening creams are promoted actively throughout the country. People supporting the Black Lives movement is ironic as every mother wants a fair daughter in law for her son.
U.S Obsession With Fairness
Darker-skinned women continue to seek ways of embracing whiteness. The problem in European countries is standardisation. For some unknown reason, they tend to associate beauty with a lighter skin tone.
This has led to women taking extreme measures and applying unknown chemicals to their skin, as long as they promise glowing, mesmerising fairness. Thus, there has been a massive uprising of skin whitening products and whitening facials. So the US is the biggest example of racism against dark-skinned people.
The current BLM and the death of countless men and women-only due to their colour only have proved how problematic the mindset is. It is prevalent how white supremacy continues to suppress people of colour.
🔸Indian Obsession With Fairness
A certain color-consciousness is embedded in Indian culture that makes them believe that ‘dark doesn’t matter’.
Some Bollywood stars with huge followings like Shahrukh Khan and Shahid Kapoor, regularly endorse skin whitening creams.
While thousands of people out there have joined the ‘Black Lives Matter’ global movement to show solidarity with the George Floyd death incident, huge hypocrisy is found in Indian culture as far as the protest is concerned.
The same actors, who once promoted fairness products are today supporting ‘Black Lives Matter’. It is really so ironic.
Why people prejudice against dark skin?
Unfortunately, we live on a planet where skin colour is used as a means to judge beauty in a person. “Let’s scrub out that tan” is a constant reminder to a girl that dark is not a good enough. “She got lucky, a good guy married her despite her dark complexion” is the national slogan. If you’re of marriageable age, chances are that fair skin has had the fair share of proposals.
🔸Male attractiveness towards fairness:-
At the beginning of the twenty-first century, television commercials have become one of the major ways to advertise skin-lightening products for men.
Before that, neither the commercials nor the existence of commercially produced skin-lightening products for men could be traced.
The frequent telecast of several commercials on TV appears to be an every-day phenomenon.
As a result, fairness has become one of the defining properties of attractiveness (being handsome) through the advertising of skin-lightening products.
These products and their mode of advertising have been shaping the notion of attractiveness in men.
The Reality Check!
People with fair skin would face less number of rejections as compared to the dark skin in every matter of life. Skin whitening products are the strategy of assimilating a superior identity.
This reflects a deep set of belief that fair skin is better and more powerful. Studies have found that in media, everyone prefers a lighter skin tone.
Standard of beauty is highly associated with lighter skin. dark-skinned models, actors, dancers have found it more difficult to get a chance. Because unfortunately, it’s more fashionable to launch fair artists in the industry. That’s why skin bleaching is common all over the world especially in Asia.
Nandita Das has once spilled the dark truth:
“We keep saying things like, “USKA RANG SAAF HAI’ as if dark skin is a dirty thing.The mindset is then propagated in our songs, stories and movies.”
Dark Is Lovely
This is high time for all the young ladies, men and women to shaken up and understand that loving yourself is not something that can be taught. It is something that is learned at a young age.
Reject the medias definition of beauty. Define your own true beauty but most importantly do not allow your skin tone to determine your worth.
Well in Pakistan, Mahira Khan is one of the few actresses in the industry who has spoken against Pakistan’s fixation with fair complexion.
“I don’t judge people who use or endorse fairness creams but it is dangerous when this whole concept gives you a complex. Which, I know for a fact, it does because when women talk [about girls] in our society, they ask ‘gori hay?’ What sort of a question is that?”
So, beauty is not something to be judged on the basis of looks. It is the inner beauty which makes a person beautiful.
People have started realizing this truth but we still have a long way to go.
Dark is good. Dark is lovely. Accept the change.
Be the change you want to see in your community and in your home.