Monday, 23 June 2008

Flush that fairness cream


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If on someday I have to pioneer a public interest litigation, it would be against the ads which propagate the virtues of a fair skin. I am dark skinned but never felt anyway inferior, intellectually nor emotionally, to a fair skinned person. I have nothing against a fair skinned person but a few greedy ad professionals with a sole intention of selling a fairness cream are trying to create an inferiority complex amongst dark skinned people. It is this propaganda in an already fair skin obsessed society which provokes me.

Dark skin color ridiculing in our society is akin to the discrimination against a girl child in rural India. Ours is a country where most people especially from the southern part are dark skinned. The Government bans liquor ads/ cigarette ads/ provocative ads but why not a fairness cream ad which shows that dark skinned people not being capable of being an airhostess, news reader, un-dateable, etc, etc? How can the Government remain silent to a profit motive which promotes color discrimination?

An individual’s ability to make money is not determined by his/her skin color. An individual’s ability to write efficient computer programs is not determined by his/her skin color. A sportsman’s physical power is not determined by his/her skin color. An architects design is not determined by his/her skin color. A surgeon’s knowledge is not determined by his/her skin color. A fashion designer’s immaculate cuts are not determined by his/her skin color. A call centre executive’s accent is not determined by his skin color. On the lighter side, the hits on my blog page or for that matter anybody’s page is not determined by their skin color.

I think our entire country is having an Obsessive Compulsory Disorder towards fair skin. This is despite the fact that some of the country’s best leaders and sportswomen are dark skinned. Englishmen stepped out of the shores of country long ago; but our obsession with fair skin is yet to go.

It is all the more depressing to see when successful dark skinned couples try every trick in the book to ensure that their kid is born fair. The fair skinned child of the family is always the cynosure of everybody’s eye. Luckily, in my family, all are equally dark, so I never experienced this apartheid.

“Marriages are made in heaven” goes the saying but one look at the matrimony market; you will be compelled to believe that “Marriages are made in melanin cells”. Jet black guys remain unmarried for ages just because they could not find a fair girl. Does the success of a marriage depend on the skin color of a wife? I know many a dark skinned ladies who have inspired their husbands to greater heights and have been source of great emotional support. At the same time, there many a husbands who have lighter colored wives and have virtually become recluses in their own homes.

The only place where I felt bad about my dark skin is those empty hi-fi shops in Bangalore. The owners and salesman of such shops are determined in their minds that a dark skinned person is poor and can’t afford the expensive things they sell. They usually avoid a dark skinned person and treat them as an intrusion in their business. The only thing I do to such shops is to show the base of my foot which is luckily fair and make a move.

Get it off your mind that your altitude in life is determined by the magnitude of fairness on your skin, it is always determined by your attitude. Flush that fairness cream.

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