"I Love My Looks Barring One Thing, My Dark Complexion"

Himanshi Singla Himanshi Singla in Culture Shock on 10 August, 2017

I grew up in a small city, dreaming big and aiming at the sky. My childhood has lovely memories. There are few bad memories too.

I remember a classmate who had a dark complexion, beautiful eyes and long shiny hair. I happened to ask her one day, "You must be very proud of your beauty, after all, you have all the looks a woman desires to have."

How she replied to me sent a chilling wave run down my spine. She said, "Yeah you are right; I love my looks barring one thing, my dark complexion." Time went by; we grew up, aged to become parents, responsible citizens, and professionals of the society. A time came when the whole nation went gaga over an actress refusing to promote a brand selling fairness products. I was suddenly reminded of my childhood friend. The actress in question was dead against such products, for she said beauty lies not in the colour of the skin but the deeds of the person concerned. I wish someone could have said that to my friend a few years ago.

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Suddenly my phone rang and guess who called? It was one of my childhood friends, planning for a get together over a cup of coffee. I gladly accepted. To my surprise, the same old friend whom I was thinking of was sitting next to me. She announced her pregnancy but wasn't very happy about it. We asked her the reason; she said I wish my child isn't as dark as me.

Ever since I have announced my pregnancy, my friends and relatives have been advising me what to eat and what not to, in order to have a fair baby. I was shocked but soon came to realize the desire for fair skin is so deep in our thoughts that we hardly realise that it's the least important thing in life.

One actress refusing to endorse fairness products will not change the society but the deep rooted thinking will have to be uprooted. The nation is so obsessed with fairness that in its certain parts, where most of the people are dark skinned, pregnant ladies are advised to eat saffron to get fair babies. Saffron, the reason being it comes from the other part of the nation where fair skinned people live. I wish this obsession ends soon.

Else knowingly or unknowingly, talents get under rated, confidence gets shattered, dreams lose its wings.

 The cover image is a work of art by Arjun Kamath Photography.

Editor's Note:

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