It starts with the fairy tales, like the example of snow white, where the queen wished to have a daughter that had ‘skin as white as snow, lips as red as blood, and hair as black as ebony’. So goes our epics too, like the illustration of Sita with lustrous skin. Ironically, Lord Krishna (being called Shyam for he resembled the dark monsoon cloud) was allowed to be dark and yet be the charmer.
Such illustrations have made a mark on almost everybody that fair skin is synonym to beautiful, and this further has been commercialised through the fairness creams. The present scenario sees cream even for men with words -‘Fair and Handsome’, making me wonder can’t it be handsome without fair? The commercials show us how success joins hands only with fair coloured while it silently makes this discrimination. This is further emphasized when women in movies always be projected so fair and as a right match to the hero though not as skilled as the men.
People who use not these creams, otherwise tend to be careful to avoid being under the sun for even a shorter span as they may get tanned and would further get dark. Field works are carried out with lot of protection using scarf, duppatta and sunscreens. We do find beauty among people whose complexion is dark, but most of us tend to ignore it for we know beauty lay in the eyes of the beholder. We overlook the brightness of those eyes and confidence in those smile for there is darkness in the skin.
This becomes more a priority for girls whose parents are on hunt for a groom. The girl tries her luck to seem fairer, for the darker she is, the more becomes the odds of her getting rejected or the more she will have to pay in the name of dowry. Why does this still exist? Doesn’t our skills and certificates come to rescue our confidence when the skin tone is trying to decide it?
We cannot change the society but we can start by being the change, for as a beholder we can be confident with who we are. These social stigmas have actually come much into our daily living that campaigns like those of ‘Dark is Beautiful’ have come into frame to make us think. It is time for us to decide of whether to start thinking and take a step ahead now or further keep ignoring the darkness which has its beauty too like that of a monsoon cloud?