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Color; Am I Black or White


By Mahak


Walking back to home from college when I showed one of my guy friends a girl I found pretty, all that he said was “she is dark”. I can’t comment about the world but “India” is definitely obsessed with “color”. Especially, when it comes to “Indian men”, they seem to give a lot of preference to “fairness”, that is pretty much evident in the matrimonial section of the newspapers because the one thing you find in all of them is “fair girl”.

They seem to think that “fairness” is synonymous to “beauty”. Even if you have a look at the actresses that the nation is raving about, the list includes only fairest of the fair girls- Katrina Kaif, Kareena Kapoor, Aishwarya Rai , Parinneti, Aliya bhatt and its an never ending list.

There are exceptions like Bipasha Basu, Priyanka Chopra and the likes of “Konkona Sen”. The line between the black and the white has been darkened by the advertisements on fairness creams. In these goofy advertisements they depict that somebody especially girls with dark color cannot make a mark for themselves no matter how talented they may be.

The preposterous and cheap thinking that these advertisements are trying to advocate can really affect people’s psychology. I mean if somebody has the qualifications for a particular job why won’t s/he get that job, I understand that personality and presentation are important but you can’t just judge these two things on the basis of color.

Let’s not just talk about people, even in animals we have a lot of myths, about “animals with black color”, say for example –If a black cat crosses your path then it is supposed to be inauspicious. Why a black cat, I have never heard a “negative” myth about any white animal. Even when the astrologer’s ask you to feed animals to calm down the planets or something of that sort, they generally prefer an animal with “white color” like a “white cow”.

I guess the society has etched it in our mind that the meaning of “white” and “black” is “good” and “bad”. It became a part of primary learning that is something that we acquired from our surroundings and we didn’t even realize that we have started thinking this way.

All the stereotypes that have been set like- “black cloth symbolizes evil” and it has been so deeply rooted in our psychology that sometimes when we see these bunch of cute puppies we never get attracted to the “black” one. I am not saying that people discriminate or do not feed them but they definitely say that the other one is the cutest. When we have not spared animals, how do you expect us to spare humans?!

In order to bring about a change, we need to change the stereotypes attached to the “black” color and treat all colors in the same way. The fairness advertisements which promote “apartheid” must be banned. Women and men must be taught the idea of equality. They should be taught to feel independent and confident and not be identified by their color but by their capabilities.

Anyone supporting apartheid or giving loathsome remarks on color must be punished and the severity of the punishment can vary depending on the culprit’s crime. Perniciousness must also be punished and we must imbibe this in every child’s mind that “color” is something that is governed by our genes, by the presence of melanin in abundance or rarity.

It has absolutely nothing to do with our talent, capabilities, beauty and can never determine whether we succeed or fail. It is not our identity but a part of our physical attributes.

It is high time that Indians begin to respect people of every color because if they practice apartheid they cannot blame other countries for doing the same with them.

If you want to bring a change, start by cleaning your home first.



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