Fair skin is an obsession today, with multiple brands advertising their products with a promise of fairer skin tone. On the other hand, dark skin is considered as a taboo, something that needs to be ridden out. History is not blank of the distinction between fair skin and dark skin. Generations of different races have struggled to earn basic privileges for lack of their accepted color.
Consequently, multiple surveys across the country have resulted in the same finding, people prefer a fair complexion.
Question: How do you think this preference finds its roots?
Answer: It begins the moment a child is born.
Discrimination starts young:
‘The child looks a lot like mother, has the cutest nose like the father, eyes big like the father too, etc.’, are some of the comments one would most commonly hear. One of the most awaited comment is about the complexion of a child. “Oh! His skin is dark tinted. Alas! He is darker than his siblings who were all fair since birth.”
This is what usually makes the parents feel down-trodden and left behind in the competition. After this, it is not hard to guess the aftermath. The parents become hard bent to work on the kid and make sure his complexion gets fairer. They use homemade remedies, seek suggestions around in the family, scrounge the internet for solutions, which is quite a common thing to do today.
Comments from Society:
Growing up, the child faces a lot of discrimination where ever he goes. When he is with family, he tends to hear comments about how dark he is. He gets compared to his siblings at every point. Worse, this jeopardy is not limited to the family alone.
Nowadays, when kids are taught in schools, their textbooks often contain images to make kids understand. So, to teach them the difference between beautiful and ugly, books often contain images of a fair-skinned and a dark-skinned face.
Additionally, when kids learn the differences in words, they start pointing out their peers. “Hey! You have dark skin just like in the picture. This means you are ugly.” This is how the child is usually made fun of and becomes a target of jousts from an early age.
But is it right to let happen?
Discourage discrimination in kids:
What everyone needs to realize is that a child has the purest of hearts. What you teach them needs to be correct and justified so that the purity of heart remains intact. But what a kid learns depends a lot on the parents. If parents discriminate between kids and complexions, then the kids will do the same. They won’t even care or pay attention to who they hurt in the process. What people don’t realize is the mental effect that a child, who is a victim, can have. Breaking down the confidence, boldness, and morale of the kid is not the way to raise any kid.
Heart vs Skin Tone. What matters the most?
This obsession comes from the mentality of people who consider the lifestyle of foreign countries as the best one to embrace. However, what they overlook is the Indian culture that has its own lifestyle, where perpetually, even deep-toned people are beautiful. Beauty is not bound by one’s complexion, but the person you actually are in terms of your personality and the way you speak, especially from the heart. It’s the thoughts that impress and not the color of the face. People might think that having a fair complexion can be a good way to move ahead in life. But that is a myth. What you actually achieve with your hard work, determination, and courage, is what really counts in life.
A younger girl of around 11 years, spoke about her life. She loved to dance and was a part of the dance team in her school. During practice for a school function, girls in her group would often talk about putting on make-up while pointing out the girl, particularly for her dark skin tone. They ask her to put on more make-up to match with them. Although their tone would feel advising, it can actually be condescending. This is what shoots the confidence of the person, especially a kid of her age. That is when a girl, being so young, forms a negative opinion of herself and gradually such a situation can enable development of the obsession with fair complexion. This not only is a danger to kid’s mental health but also to her physical health as she might go ahead and try market products in desperation.
This should be taken into consideration, that such an obsession is very unhealthy for not only a child but also for adults. An advice to all would be to rise above such discrimination and appreciate the natural appearance of all.
Article Credits: Mitalee Mithal | New Delhi | India
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