Sunday, 10 September 2006

(Un)fair me

An article at gather, one of the sites I write, set me thinking and I thought why not write about it? Carol Roach wrote a very thought provoking article It is all in the DNA or is it?.

Here she talks about racism in Canada. Where there are whites, blacks or coloureds as she says. I cannot comment on that but for what I have read or heard.

I will talk about what happens here in India. We do not have white or black skin here. We have what the Britishers called brown skin....different shades of it...from darker to lighter. I come under the darker shades. This is called dusky complexion over here.

Despite not having white skin...most or I should say almost all....prefer fair skin over dark one. I have told on my face by the so-called educated people...wish you were fairer.

My skin colour never bothered me. But I do feel rage when I come across such mentality. Is it all I skin colour? For Indians definition of beauty starts and ends with fairer skin. No wonder the skin whiteners(here they call those fairness creams) do a brisk business. As I shun those products, I have been told I am crazy.

At the end of the day...everything comes down to the colour of your skin....though we do not have white or blacks amongst us.

Indians are one of the most racist people in this world however much they deny it. Even on the issue of colour we are divided. Fair is in, (un)fair is out!!


  1. Gautami:

    Having never seen a pic of you, but regardless of whether I have or haven't, I feel your rage.

    And I am with you. The focus on skin colour on the planet and in isolated countries is outrageous.

    In Canada, the aboriginal peoples are generally light brown or red --and are considered inferior, whether Canadians like to admit it or not, and hold the lowest roles in society.

    In my travels in India, I have seen both very light and dark brown people, which I consider a beautiful aspect of your country.

    There is bigotry or social value placed on skin colour everywhere in the world.

    How ridiculous that is.

  2. Gautami, you have touched a chord with this post. I, too, have never understood why we Indians cannot or will not get over this colonial hangover with white skin. I thought with modernization etc. things would change, but I was sorely disappointed when I visited my friend and stylist in India last month and she told me that one of the biggest cosmetic buys of the year in India was one of these "fairness" creams. It sent a chill up my spine to think that young, beautiful Indian girls feel the pressure to lighten their beautiful skin.

    I have not yet read the article you linked to, but dusky skin is much admired and appreciated here in Canada. Infact, here people go to extremes to try and darken their skin.

    Why can't we just love the skin we're in?

  3. within without: Hmm. About posting my picture, never crossed my mind. Will do so, I think.

    What I find despairing is that the so called educated population is the most bigoted one.

    Why do we judge anyone by his/her skin colour?

    I do not think it is going to change any time soon.

    lotus reads: You hit the nail on the head. The Britisher have left us this legacy of hankering after WHITE SKIN.

    Once there was this matrimonial ad in a national daily asking for fair skinned girl, where it mentioned even albino will do. How sickening can one get?

  4. Gautami:

    I think we would all welcome a pic, but that's your choice.

    We are so guided by the commercial world and outside influences (as in your case, the Brits).

    Changing who one is, outwardly or inwardly, is cowardice and short-sighted.

    Revel in your natural beauty.

  5. so true. Even if we admit that we are non-biased, the moment someone does wrong. mistakes...the fist thing that comes out of the mouth will b d persons skin color. Sucks.

  6. Hey, I saw your beautiful face on within's blog.
    Maybe I should repost my little blurb on skin colour. Since there isn't any difference between homo sapiens aside from adaptations to climates we need to get past this NOW!

    I have always noticed that in Science Fiction race is of little is gender discrimination..why we have to wait for another Century is beyond me.

    One of my favorite stories is how Marlon Brando got out of serving in the Army..on his enlistment form he filled in human under RACE and under Colour he wrote it varies.

    We do have a great deal of social and economic racism here in Canada and it is pathetic. Every nation on earth still seems to struggle with enveloping it's aboriginal people into the mainstream.

    The people in India have beautiful facial features, very Hellenic or Greek lines which the West has adopted as it's standard. But there is great beauty in every smiling matter where they are from...a smile disintegrates all other features in the blinking of an eye.

    Our pigmentation, the natural defense mechanism against ultraviolet rays at various lines of lattitude, is an archaic and ridiculous way to judge a person.

    My children's generation is nearly colour-blind as far as I can tell..let's hope that keeps progressing.

  7. within without: well now you can see me here. And thats not a sari..:D

    My looks or colour never bothered me. Why should my fellow Indians feel I should have been of lighter shade beats me!

    ghost particle: You got it right. We are all labelled by our skin colour in India!

    homo escapeons:Gee, thanks.

    You do post your bit about skin colour. We need it.

    About next generation being less bothered about skin colour, its simply not true here. I feel they are more so. These morons forget that its all genetics!

  8. The color barrier works both ways. One of the funnier encounters I had with it was when I was a grad teaching assistant and had to administer a makeup test to some basketball players.

    One was black and had the same last name (a fairly unusual name with a high likelihood of distant yet shared ancestry). He was black and I white. I have a bit of black ancestry in my tree and it was fun to see the shock in his eyes at the possibility he had white relatives somewhere in his family tree.

    One time I found that, during the 'good old days" of apartheid-era South Africa, I technically was colored under RSA law. This is why the movie "Blazing Saddles" governs my outlook on life - everyone's prejudiced in some way; it's ridiculous and worth mocking; and we need to get over it.