Amma!! Fair & Lovely has changed their name to Glow & Lovely. Aaah! That’s good news. But will India’s deep-rooted obsession with fairness go away? What is in a name after all in a country where being fair is considered the yardstick of a person’s beauty. When will we understand that a person’s worth is not determined by the way they look.
I remember taking part in a campaign where I spoke about our obsession with the fair complexion. After the campaign, I received a lot of mails from parents and lot of girls and boys. Some of them brought tears to my eyes. Not only girls but boys were also shamed.
"Indu, my daughter was a cruel victim of this colour bias. From birth she was tortured by people who repeatedly reiterated in to her ear that colour means a lot. I saw my child crumble helplessly at these ruthless remarks. She was just 5 .This colour complex went on and on. Then these sadists where worried about ,'who will marry her'. And the ridicule came from even servants and relatives too." I could feel her, I wanted to hug that little girl and whisper in her ear that how much we all loved her.
Dear so called educated people, do you know how intensely these remarks will affect your child? Instead of such lousy remarks, can you please make your child believe that colour is the most natural thing ever? And can you stop bothering about how others look? And my dear parents, please don’t lament at the birth of a dark daughter/son. And please don’t pass your deep rooted obsession with colour to your child.
Another message I received was from the mother of an eight year old. "My daughter is very dark and me and my family is giving her enough confidence. But the world is very cruel to her. She is made fun of in her school and outside. She becomes really helpless and doesn’t know how to react. And this always continues." And her mother says ”at some point Fair & Lovely face cream came as a rescue to her. One day we wanted to introduce her to a family friend and at the end of a long search, we found her hiding behind with a thick coating of Fair&Lovely. Perhaps she was getting ready to meet the guests."
I had tears in my eyes after reading this, I felt so choked. What have we done to that little girl? We all are responsible in one way or the other for this. Imagine the deep scar festering in the poor child? And do you know when you ridicule a child and make rude comparisons, how much that will effect the morale of the child?
A lot of girls wrote to me about their trauma of being dark skinned and how they are always sidelined. And as always it starts from the family. These girls confessed to me that they are spending a major amount of their earnings on skin lightening products and whitening creams. These girls suffer from inferiority complex. Wish we could tell them COLOUR is just a few alphabets put together and what you are is what matters! Girls please speak up for yourself and others, don’t let anyone pull you down in the name of your colour.
My god Indu!!!! Have you lost your mind?? Ehhh?? Did I? And when was that?? I had no clue what she was talking about. That was my elderly aunt screaming at the top of her voice. She was so loud and I am so dazed at her hyper ventilation. I am still wondering what did I do? Indu you’re giving your daughter black coffee. See she is going to be dark! I seriously didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at her stupidity.
Didn’t I tell you how intensely obsessed we are with colour?? We live in a society which thinks that the white skin is special than the rest (no offence meant, but, colour is not anybody’s choice)
It’s high time that we change the prejudices of the people and the way they think about the colour. It makes life so easy for us! Be proud of your skin and celebrate your colour. Glorify the real you. After all that matters the most. Don't choose filters on Instagram that makes you look lighter. Lighten up your life instead.
Be Black, be Brown, be Dusky, be White, be YOU!
Read the article in Malayalam