BY ISHITA ROY
India- a country of diversity and also a country that is one of the biggest consumers of skin-lightening creams!
Ironical, isn’t it?
We Indians are obsessed with fairness. All of us, at least once, have used a skin-lightening cream in our lives. A lighter shade of foundation. Lighter shade for Compact. Creams. And even photo editors!
Breaking The Shackles Of White Beauty
Where does this obsession come from?
How did we start associating beauty with skin colour?
The answer is simple. We practice what is preached.
We tend to pick up things when we see them in front of us. Films and Influencers. They are our role models. And we want to be like them! Famous and of course Fair.
Have you noticed something common in the film industry? The message is clear. The darker, the sadder. The fairer, the happier. The film industry is filled with fair skinned actresses and models. Daily soaps and even the news industry too have institutionalized colourism. We rarely see a dusky face on the screen.
What Beauty Means In Brown Entertainment ?
The film industry has done a great job promoting lighter skin as the only definition of beauty. We all have seen Mai Hu Na, where Sanjana’s only character development is her skin-lightening over the course of time to impress Lakshman. Because she really had to get ready to shoot the song Gori Gori.
Another Indian television drama Laagi Tujhse Lagan cast a light-skinned woman for the role of Nakusha and temporarily darkened her skin.
The nonsense does not end here.
The drama focuses on Nakusha’s life becoming a mockery due to her dark skin. The drama focuses on Nakusha’s kind nature and a secret known only by her mother. And the secret is that she actually is a fair-coloured “beautiful” girl. Her mother temporarily darkened her skin to hide her “beauty.”
The creators of this drama gave out a message that dark skin is unattractive. The entertainment industry is filled with colourism. Light-skinned actresses are hired for the role of dark-skin characters.
In season 2 of Family Man, Samantha Akkineni also got her skin darkened for the role of Raji.
The film Bala did the same. Bhumi Pednekar also temporarily darkened her skin to play the character of Latika, a dark-skinned woman.
Alia Bhatt also temporarily darkened her skin for her role in Udta Punjab.
Our Plea !
Dear entertainment industry, India is a diverse country, with people of many shades. Stop casting light-skinned women for dark-skinned roles. There are real women who are dark-skinned and are beautiful. We want to see them in movies.
Bipasha Basu. Priyanka Chopra. Kajol. Radhika Apte
They all have one thing in common. They all have a darker skin tone. And they all faced colourism in their careers. Roles have been taken away from them because they did not fit the so-called beauty standards
The beauty standards have been imposed to a level that even the victims of colourism also internalizes. Priyanka Chopra, who recently spoke about the discrimination she had faced due to her complexion also shot an advertisement for a skin-lightening product.
This is how systematic oppression works. Even the victims accept it!
White-Washing Of Brown Skin
India and many other South Asian and African countries have been colonized by British Rule. The British Rule is known for its discrimination against non-white people.
The flag-bearers of “white man’s burden,” thought it was their responsibility to modernize and civilize the colonies. Because any colour that is not white is not beautiful or aesthetically pleasing and rather uncivilized.
Thus, it is no surprise for the colonies to internalize this superficial concept of beauty.
But gone are those days when your skin colour decided your destiny.
It is time my ladies to be proud of who we are. To speak up against colorism. And to own up to being brown!
Because Un-fair is also lovely!
Also don’t forget to checkout list of 5 Web Series that deal with the issue of colourism and many relatable issues!