Should I be worried about my daughter’s dark-skin?

images-02I asked this question to my elder sister to which her reaction was – “what rubbish! Gone are those days when girls were judged by their complexion. Don’t you see Bipasha Basu or Nandita Das?” Well, then how come these fairness products lion-walk on the streets of Indian markets? Why every other household has got these products like a daily necessity?…

Once, I read a story by Tagore where the protagonist had to suffer a lot and at the end she dies a sad death, the reason being just her dark complexion. Well, it was not ‘just’ back at that time. The in-laws demanded heavy dowry in return of accepting the dark skinned girl. A girl born with lighter skin was considered lucky as she was probable to get a better ‘marriage deal’, i.e. wealthy in-laws and less torture. Really, gone are those days.

Nowadays, girls are leading a far better life compared to that era. They are educated, liberal, financially independent, no one defies of their rights due to their colour. However, somehow, everyone seems to be chasing the beauty standards of the celebrities like Aishwariya Rai’s. Even the men are not excluded out of this race, everybody wants to look like John Abraham and even better for them are the fairness products meant for men. Well, let everyone get a fair skin and a fairer heart too.

When I was younger I used to hear relatives say that my mother is lucky to have a perfect balance between her kids i.e., we both sisters having light colored skin and my brother was the darker one. When my daughter was born, I was suggested number of home-remedy tips from my well wishers on how to make her skin a few shades lighter. A number of them stated that – since she is a girl I have got to work on this issue. Well, at this my feminist mind straightens up her back and asks – does happiness comes free with this? If yes, then I am definitely not going to ignore it.

India is such a country where variation is the dominant flavour. Different culture, different language, different food habits and different looks. From milky white to dark brown, we get all types of skin variations and hence comes the comparison. Arrange marriages are still prevalent in this country and when it comes to choosing a daughter-in-law, ofcourse the predilection goes to the looks till to this date and good looks is directly proportional to lighter skin(in this country). Though many will protest invalidating this statement saying

Well, it takes a lot of time to change a typical way of thinking which goes back to primitive age. In India it takes centuries. Maybe the problems which existed a 25 or 50 years ago have evaporated, but the complexes are still there. I have seen girls getting egoistic or touchy on this subject. It’s the people around them who seem to remind them that no matter how highly skilled you are its always the skin colour that gives you the win-win position. This approach may have been completely vanished from the upper class of the society but it still claim to be there in the others. As I said, it takes centuries. Somehow, the mothers of dark skinned daughters press themselves more in preparing their daughters to accomplish professionally in future. At the back o their minds it runs like this – since my daughter is weak in a ‘vital’ point, she has to excel in the others to compete in the cat race.

As Dan Brown stated in one of his wittings – we are the masters o our own universe. What we think , what we say leaves a huge impact on our kids. If we want a prominent change, we got to change ourselves. Our positive approach towards life will leave positivity on our kids. Trivial things like skin colour will be o little importance. Its not that to be conscious of one’s physical appearance is o no worth but what counts more is what you do. I believe that life is a lot more about karma rather than the looks and I would like to pass on the same thought to my daughter.

Once, I read a story by Tagore where the heroine had to suffer a lot and at the end she dies a sad death, the reason being just her dark complexion. Well, it was not ‘just’ back at that time. The in-laws demanded heavy dowry in return of accepting the dark skinned girl. A girl born with lighter skin was considered lucky as she was probable to get a better ‘marriage deal’, i.e. wealthy in-laws and less torture. Really, gone are those days.

Nowadays, girls are leading a far better life compared to that era. They are educated, liberal, financially independent, no one defies of their rights due to their colour. However, somehow, everyone seems to be chasing the beauty standards of the celebrities like Aishwariya Rai’s. Even the men are not excluded out of this race, everybody wants to look like John Abraham and even better for them are the fairness products meant for men. Well, let everyone get a fair skin and a fairer heart too.

When I was younger I used to hear relatives say that my mother is lucky to have a perfect balance between her kids i.e., we both sisters having light colored skin and my brother was the darker one. When my daughter was born, I was suggested number of home-remedy tips from my well wishers on how to make her skin a few shades lighter. A number of them stated that – since she is a girl I have got to work on this issue. Well, at this my feminist mind straightens up her back and asks – does happiness comes free with this? If yes, then I am definitely not going to ignore it.

India is such a country where variation is the dominant flavour. Different culture, different language, different food habits and different looks. From milky white to dark brown, we get all types of skin variations and hence comes the comparison. Arrange marriages are still prevalent in this country and when it comes to choosing a daughter-in-law, ofcourse the predilection goes to the looks till to this date and good looks is directly proportional to lighter skin(in this country). Though many will protest invalidating this statement saying

Well, it takes a lot of time to change a typical way of thinking which goes back to primitive age. In India it takes centuries. Maybe the problems which existed a 25 or 50 years ago have evaporated, but the complexes are still there. I have seen girls getting egoistic or touchy on this subject. It’s the people around them who seem to remind them that no matter how highly skilled you are its always the skin colour that gives you the win-win position. This approach may have been completely vanished from the upper class of the society but it still claim to be there in the others. As I said, it takes centuries. Somehow, the mothers of dark skinned daughters press themselves more in preparing their daughters to accomplish professionally in future. At the back o their minds it runs like this – since my daughter is weak in a ‘vital’ point, she has to excel in the others to compete in the cat race.

As Dan Brown stated in one of his wittings – we are the masters o our own universe. What we think , what we say leaves a huge impact on our kids. If we want a prominent change, we got to change ourselves. Our positive approach towards life will leave positivity on our kids. Trivial things like skin colour will be o little importance. Its not that to be conscious of one’s physical appearance is o no worth but what counts more is what you do. I believe that life is a lot more about karma rather than the looks and I would like to pass on the same thought to my daughter.

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One thought on “Should I be worried about my daughter’s dark-skin?

  1. Hi Blogger,

    I have always admired your literary skills. After these many years, welcome back. Aptly written and punchingly compiled. These are the aspects we need to pay attention to, and I strongly agree with you. Hope you see frequent post from you…

    Rahul

    Liked by 1 person

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