Obsession with fair skin has been a bane in our society since a very long time. The media has also played a major role in perpetuating misleading beauty ideals. This concept is very much contradictory to the proverbial saying that, beauty is not skin-deep. The superficial attitude of the society has embraced this flawed concept readily. In olden times, the skin color was an indicator of the people’s status. The poorer being working for long time in the sun developed dark skin, whereas, people of the upper segment of the society who were having comfortable indoor life naturally developed a lighter skin tone. The stark contrast of colors was the very obvious proof of their difference of class in the society.
Beauty means just not a Fair Complexion
People’s obsession with the prejudice over complexion has created a multibillion-dollar cosmetic industry especially in the South Asian region. Various new products have been emerging in the market which are eagerly lapped up by the young and the old. They have tactfully targeted the insecurity that the people possess regarding their external appearance. There are numerous advertisements which portrays girls missing various opportunities due to their dusky complexion. This gives a wrong message and induces unhealthy competition in the society. Among the various countries in the world this prejudice is more prevalent in semi-tropical regions like south-Asia where the skin tones vary to a large extent from black, brown, whitish and fair. India is also one prominent country where this color prejudice runs deep in the society.
The low literacy rate in India also has played a role in fuelling this disparity, as people lack the ability to comprehend and critically analyze things. Right from the childhood people are conditioned to believe that having a fair complexion is an advantage. The most unfortunate victims of this irrational thinking are the marriageable girls whose family had to pay a heavy price for their weddings, where money and glitz rule rather than tradition and moral values. The parents of the dark-complexioned girls had to face more brunts and were forced to shell out more dowry and goodies to placate the groom and his family.
Grooming for natural tendency to impress
The obsession is more among youngsters due to the peer pressure and the natural tendency to impress each other. There have been innumerable instances of children as well as teenagers getting bullied in schools and other places, purely based on their skin color. Millennials tend to assume that having a lighter skin tone is one of the important parameters in finding a partner. Due to this, they end up spending huge amounts of money for grooming themselves and attaining a lighter skin tone, which may result in adverse side effects in some cases.
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However, today this trend is gradually getting diminished as people are becoming more aware, sensitive and verbal regarding issues like these. Some of the advertisements also began portraying men and women from all walks of life in the place of slim, fair and perfect looking models and celebrities. A few celebrities refraining from endorsing fairness creams have also given necessary attention to the issue. Magazines today have the photos of dark-skinned models, articles on people who’ve been immensely successful despite their complexion and hashtags like #Darkisbeautiful have become extremely popular these days. This has enabled people with dusky complexion to attain more self-esteem and confidence, instead of the discrimination they had to go through earlier.
All of these, paves way for a better future, which would be devoid of stereotypes regarding skin and bodies and would, appreciate people based on their innate qualities, behavioral attributes and contribution for the society.
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