It’s been over a year and somehow I just remembered this one incident today morning while getting ready for work. My then boyfriend and I had been dating for a while and decided to take it a step further. Introducing each other to the families and all those formalities. A few days later he asked me to send him some pictures. I asked “What kind? 😉“ He sure as hell must’ve blushed at what I was hinting and said “No, not for me. It’s for my cousin, she is very curious to see what you look like.” So I sent him a few. Same evening we met and naturally I asked him what his cousin said. Like on cue, his phone beeped with a text and it was her with a reply “Isn’t she DARK?”
I live in a country where people hate the Westerners for discriminating us on the basis of skin colour and calling us dark. Accusing them of racism and what not. But my lovelies, what are we doing here? How are we different from them? Infact, we do it a lot worse than them. How many of you have called someone ‘kaali’ because she is a few tones darker than the ‘acceptable’ shade on the Indian shade card? We all thought that was alright, right? Another one is “You are pretty for a dark skinned girl.” Like really? What is that even supposed to mean?! I am a girl with a dusky complexion. A nice caramel tone of skin and I wear my skin colour proudly.
Our society is so obsessed with fair skin that the minute a child is born, they are judged. “Areey, yeh toh kitni kaali hai”, if she is dark. “Waah! Bacchi ka rang kitna gora hai, bohot sundar hai”, if she is fair skinned. This thing continues in school when the other kids tease them by calling them dark and everyone else laughs. To make matters worse, there are the fairness creams. Have you all seen the advertisements these people come up with? “Ab dikhiye 5 shades tak fairer”. Supported by a ‘shade card’. Have you noticed the transformation they show while the fairness effect takes place? The girl goes from being sad to happy as she goes from darker to fairer. Why, because being fair is of utmost importance and the key to happiness. Fairness creams are the answer to everything. Doesn’t matter what your degree is, how educated you are, the reason you are not hired is because you are dark skinned, hence, not acceptable. Want to fix this? Use a fairness cream. Don’t have many friends? Use a fairness cream. Not finding a suitable groom? Use a fucking fairness cream.
Dusky girls going to parlor are shot with a casual “Aap xyz ka fairness facial try karenge? Colour thoda accha ho jaega”. Accha ho jaega? Seriously? The description of an ideal man is ‘Tall, dark and handsome’ but for a girl to be dusky?! Dear lord NO! People from across the world get out in the sun with the hope to get a beautiful tanned skin. But us? God help us! Sunscreen lotions, scarves and stoles wrapped around our faces, preventing even one single ray of the sun to touch us. Who wants to get darker here? Who wants to be judged? Do they even know how difficult it is to go on dates with this skin? Do they know how difficult it is to get married with this skin?? Or even get a job? Or even survive? Or even breathe??!
C’mon guys. Give us a break. Stop being such jerks. Don’t condition your kids in believing that having darker skin is bad. It kills their confidence. You are the same people who call kids dark as if it’s a curse and also pray to to goddess Kaali. Hypocrites, aren’t we? We embrace what we are born with and we love it. I even believe if you could look into your souls, they will appear darker than our skin tones.
Going back to my boyfriend’s cousin’s text. Well, he was embarrassed to have let me read the text before seeing the reply himself. He was embarrassed not because I’m “dark” but because it came from the sister who he has always bragged about for being very sorted and mature and his favourite of the lot. He was apologising on her behalf. I simply asked how old is she? He said “about 20”. I just smiled and said she still has a long way to go. Let’s talk when she is mature enough to not be judgemental.
PS. Here’s the picture of mine in question which, as it happens, is too dark for some people 🙂