Wondering what I am about to write? Before you start showing me those wonder-struck looks, I want to tell you that I am not jumping in to any sort of serious discussions that you fear about. I promise I won’t make you doze off, but instead tell you yet another ridiculously annoying experience that I’ve had. But let me start off with a very simple question. Whom will you find beautiful, a very fair skinned girl or a little dusky one? By now, you might have got fair idea about what I am about to say. Yes, I am here to rant again about the clichéd topic that we’ve been hearing for decades, and here is the reason why I wanted to share my thoughts with you. Yesterday, amid a casual conversation, I was stunned to the core when one of those less than close friends defined my complexion as the typical identity of a ‘third world’ native. Third world or the underprivileged and underdeveloped, as how it is defined by the snobbish people like him who inhabit in the much acclaimed developed places in the world, was way too derogatory that it took me a minute to come back to my senses and realize what had happened. ‘Did he mean to say I am an ugly duckling?’ I really didn’t have the slightest idea about what was in his mind while he made that remark, and for this reason didn’t feel it necessary to jump in and counter or create a fuss about the comment. But yes, I did feel bad, though I hid it wisely from him.
For a moment I had the tempting urge to tell him that I better prefer being dark outside and fair inside than the other way round, but soon prevented me from making such a momentary and immature reply. Although the discussion ended very soon, the remark somehow remained in the back of my mind the whole day, and I couldn’t help but wonder why people, especially men, have a kind of blind admiration for fair women. I kept wondering why fairness is the benchmark to call someone beautiful, while dark-skin tone is always related to ugliness. It reminded me of those TV commercials where the dark-skinned girl is always the target of ridicule. I am not really dark like jet-black, but am not really fair either, and have no regrets for not having the kind of fairness that would make men like my friend blindly go weak on their knees for women who are fair skinned, only because of the skin tone. There are many impeccably gorgeous yet not-so-fair women out there, but some men, or men like my friend, hardly bother to notice them, or in fact, are brainless enough to see their real beauty. They keep disregarding women with substance, class, and integrity, and go on admiring those who have most whitish skin.
I’ve seen, heard, and read about many dark skinned women who tremendously successful in both professional and personal life, irrespective not are being one among the very fairer one that men would crazily fall for. So if men like him believe that light skinned women epitomize innocence, modesty, and goodness, I would call them stupidest of the lot, for having such silliest reasons to get allured by light skin and to keep mocking at dark skinned women. Nowadays, the concept of beautiful itself is so badly twisted and swirled such men fail to identify the real beauty, instead run behind those fake and heavily pancaked faces that are so badly deceptive, a kind of enticing mirage. The funniest part of the story is that most of the men who worship the fair women will have skin tones that are way far from white. Yet they go on worshiping fair women and keep poking fun at all the others that have abundance of melanin in their skin. White or dark skinned, women with self identity and strong personality will always stand apart from the rest of the crowd, but some dim-witted people like my friend always fail notice them.
As I was going through the Sunday news paper, I came across those matrimonial that read “Looking for slim and fair girl…” where I could again see the extreme obsession for fair skin. I couldn’t help but pity the family for being fixated with surface level beauty, and not being bothered about the personality, intelligence and other traits that their ‘would be’ daughter in law should have. I really wanted to call them up and say that ‘White is always not beautiful and Black is always not ugly’.