Till date, I have never understood Indians' fascination with fairness. I can't help but cringe whenever I see an advertisement about one of the many fairness products. Sometimes I wonder if it is not the hangover of the British Raj. Why is it that our definition of beauty begins with fair-skinned? Why is it that every Tom, Dick and Harry, whenever he is looking for a girl to marry, begins his matrimonial advertisement with looking for a fair, slim girl...? it doesn't even matter how butt-ugly he is, he would always want a woman who should look like Aishwarya Rai.
I think the fairness products category must have the most number of products in it's kitty. From fairness creams to face washes to even powders... everything is available. And now, these products are not only there for women to use, men have joined the bandwagon as well. Gone are the days when Tall, Dark and handsome was the eligibility criteria for choosing Mr. Right. Nowadays, fair and lovely women want fair and handsome men for themselves.
I ask you is only fair-skinned people beautiful? if that is so what about Naomi Campbell or Bipasha Basu? Aren't they gorgeous women? Does it really matter what your skin measures up on the so-called 'fairness meter'?
I know so many women who have serious inferiority complex irrespective of the fact that they are intelligent and smart... and it is all because they are not fair but wheatish. Actually, this phobia with fairness has been engraved into our minds since we are little babies. since the time we are born, the first thing people notice is if the baby is fair or not... especially if the baby is a girl. Because it is the general perspective that if you are fair, then only you are pretty. How many times, have you gone to meet a new-born and heard some aunty saying, 'rang thoda savla hai par koi baat nahin dheere dheere saaf ho jayega.'?and these are the same aunties who suggest to the new-mother about applying besan, dahi and all such gharelu nuskhas so that 'rang gora ho jaye.' as if fair skin is the be all and end all of existence!
As I said before, this fairness phobia can be attributed to maybe the Britishers. When they were here, I am sure all the desi men must have been enamored by the phirangi memsahibs. And it is just continuing on...
The irony - Foreigners come here to get a tan and brown skin (they even have artificial tanning booths) and we, in the hopes of aping the west, are applying fairness creams, powders and what not!