Have you heard about Apartheid? It is a racial segregation system based on colour which was followed in South Africa (1948-1994) before it was uprooted after Nelson Mandela won elections. It has a history running way back to the days of colonisation that has slavery as well wrapped up in its pages. To put simply it is about a belief that “white is superior to black”.
Now with the passing time world has moved forward by leaps and bounds. We (Indians) have not only witnessed but are also a part of “change” be it domestically or globally. In terms of trade, education, fashion, entertainment – we have left no stone unturned to make our presence felt globally.
But somehow I feel there hasn’t been any considerable change in our deep down psyche wherein we prefer white (read fair) to black/brown (read dark). Majority of population still feels fair is beautiful. Pick up matrimonial column of any newspaper or website, the first noteworthy qualification one would come across in Bride Wanted column is : Fair & Beautiful. It simply shows how fair is perceived and believed to be beautiful. Technically we are also racists!
A plethora of advertisements of beauty (fairness) products promising fairness in weeks are riding high on emotional quotient of people. And when I am saying beauty products don’t be under impression that only women form a substantial market but even the male counterparts are being targeted. Gone are the days when a man is described as “tall, dark and handsome”. Its time for “fair and handsome”.
Too obsessed we are with the fair skin tone that even the entertainment industry is importing actresses from offshore and the talent which should be an important consideration is taking a backseat. Even the established one’s are going for fairness treatments to enhance skin tone shades.
So deep-rooted is this bias that a person’s (especially woman) confidence can take a dive southwards. I have personally seen elderly women of the households giving tips to the ladies of younger generation as in how to attain a fairer skin tone. Actually I have a personal experience of bullied by one of the senior in the school where he made fun of my “brown” skin tone. It was just one incident, but as a teenager I felt offended. I started having that inferiority, comparing myself to those girls having fair skin tone. I started using fairness creams. But my age should be an excuse at that time.
Today I understand how futile that was. Ability of a person knows no colour, so is the case with success. Until and unless we are happy in our “skin” we cannot think beyond.