The fascination we have for lighter toned skin colour in India is pandemic in nature. You can throw a dart at any corner of the Indian map and you will find a prevalence of such attitudes rampant in that geographical location. Why we possess this fetish may churn up a variety of answers, but none of them are plausible for me. I would like to see this bias and bigotry laid to rest, especially since a large population of our society is dark skinned, and it is time for us as a nation to reclaim our pride for it. The greatest negative impact this has is on our girl child, as we repeatedly underline our preference for fair skin as being the epitome of beauty.
For me a perfect example of beauty is my niece Raji. She is the complete package of female specialness where beauty, intelligence, grace, confidence and the goodness of human spirit all come together and shine through the vibrancy of her personality. For me she is my ideal of feminine beauty as she tackles life with a desire to empower herself and define her independence through knowledge.
The television and bollywood stereo-type of fair skin as being the ultimate prerequisite for female beauty gets further endorsed by the beauty pageants that we conduct in India. Show me one contestant who has won the crown who is ebony in colour and representative of this ethic factor of India. The matrimonial advertisements all share this commonality when asking for a bride: fair skinned girl preferred. She could be a criminal, but please let her be fair! What fools we are to stay locked up in our cliches and perpetuate our stupidity decade after decade, and do nothing about it whatsoever.
Parents, siblings, teachers, friends, lovers, professionals, religious people...........whatever the sphere maybe, the rot of such bigoted thinking exists. Break this mould, and break it soon. Progress is not just about rocket science and techno gizmo's, but about attitudes and thinking processes too. So it's time to give this one thought, and evolve beyond the typical. Let us finally wear the colour of our skin proudly......be it black or white!