The whole world is familiar with the infamous quote by Shakespeare- “What’s in a name?”. Most of us also know what it means, but a very few of us adhere to that quote. Here, I’m asking everybody – what’s in a color? You are fair or dark, how does it matter? How does it make you any less beautiful, smart or awesome? If I were to say, color does not define who you are and what wonders you can do.
Apparently our country, India, is obsessed with the word “Fair”. We equate ‘fair’ to ‘beauty’. We believe that having a fair skin will get us a job, a good husband, great friends or a better reputation. Frankly, understanding this link is rocket science for me. India is a country with a lot of convictions, assumptions, perceptions, controversies and ironies. Our society is our biggest critic. I can quote a million examples to prove this as well. If we have a dusky skin tone, we are mocked with humiliating names or warned about our DARK future because of our Dark skin or we are handed over some fairness cream. This is how Indians have looked since forever. We are no British folks!
We live in a land of people, who chant -” Gori hai sundar” meaning “Whitno be is Beautiful”. The problem is the fear of acceptance in women. A woman’s complexion has been a very big issue for years now in our country. But, we have multiple solutions to curb this problem. We have a multiple ‘Fairness Creams’, ‘Fairness facials’ ,’Fairness therapies’ and the cheapest of all, ‘Photoshop’. And I am not even kidding!! God Bless Us!!
Indian actress Nandita Das, is the face of ‘Dark is Beautiful Campaign’, which aims at making women love the skin they are in. It seems a petty cause but believe me, one of the major reasons behind a woman’s depressions, lack of confidence, dejection and even rejection, is their color. If you cannot accept who you are and how you look, world will definitely not.
Indian markets are flooding with all sorts of fairness creams or should I rather say the miracle workers or maybe destiny changers, eh? These life changing chemicals are just claims, as they boast in their exaggerated advertisements. I’m not making it up, there are scientific evidences that these are useless. These are effective, sure, but who has ever told good or bad? Recent studies have found that these fairness creams contain mercury, which is completely illegal and unlawful. 44% of mercury in each of the 14 noted creams. It can damage kidneys, cause rashes, skin discoloration and scarring. Also, it can cause mental issues like depression and anxiety. So basically they are using ‘unfair’ means to provide you with ‘fairness’. Funny!!
There are people using such products “out of habit” or I suppose “out of curiosity” for years now and have only experienced more of side effects. It is quite incredible that this industry is making crores.
Interestingly, men are no behind when it comes to being beautiful. We have miracle workers for men too. It all started from “Afghan Snow” and is still going on. It is more like a war and surprisingly all the brand ambassadors of these brands are Bollywood super stars. It makes it even more believable for a common person to depend on such a product. Well, let us know if you become Shahrukh Khan or Sonam Kapoor after using these creams.
I am with Nandita Das on this issue that, one must be comfortable in their own skin and they should not experiment with it, just to fit in or to impress anyone. I would like to support my point with certain examples. We all know the dusky beauties of Bollywood like Deepika Padukone, Priyanka Chopra, Sushmita Sen, Frieda Pinto, Bipasha Basu and Chitrangdha Singh. Each one of these are known for not just their sensational beauty but also for their achievements. Sushmita Sen and Priyanka Chopra went on to win top beauty contests and Priyanka also rules Bollywood. Men dream of a dusky beauty like Deepika or Chitrangdha. They believe in “Beauty beyond Color”. Also, an Indian model Nina Davuluri, won the title “Miss America” despite of having a dark skin tone. If she was in India, she wouldn’t have even made it to the 1st round.
So my question remains the same- ‘what’s in a color?’ and also ‘what’s in a so-called fairness cream?’
My advice would be that, never let anyone tell you that you are not good enough & never ever use a fairness cream to prove it.