Brown skin girls and boys live in an underrepresented society. Our beautiful brown skin was underrepresented in history, media, the cosmetic industry, lingerie collection, and Barbie dolls options, just to name a few. It’s nothing but systematic racism. Advertisements of “fair & lovely”, “fair and handsome” “white beauty” say that a brown skin girl or boy is less beautiful. That’s outrageous and inappropriate!
Whether it’s light, dark, or mixed, every skin tone is beautiful in its own way. Every individual is whole and completely irrespective of his/her complexion. Beauty shouldn’t be defined by whether one wears the deepest brown foundation or a translucent one. It’s about confidence in your own skin and in your beauty. A brown skin girl is beautiful too!
“Dark skin girls are made of brown sugar, honey, cocoa, gold, and the strength of ten thousand moons.”
Colourism, in India, runs deeper than the superficial. The minds of young boys and girls have been ingrained by deeply rooted prejudice. We have been made to believe that having fair skin determines the very quality of our life. The availability of job opportunities for marriage prospects is now a normal part of so many lives in our country. We live in an environment where a dark person is actually dark enough to hurt anybody’s fair sentiments. Due to dark complexion, people have been told ugly and unworthy.
Darker women have often been considered ‘Kali’. This undermines their beautiful natural complexion. Being a brown skin girl, I have often been a target of such racist and unsolicited comments. I have often been advised by my relatives to go for ‘skin brightening and whitening’ creams. Because, if I am not fair, I am not beautiful!
I still remember that when I was a little girl, my grandmother often used to put a turmeric-curd paste to lighten my complexion. I believe that we have come a long way in changing people’s mindset regarding beauty standards but there is still a long way to go.
Beauty is subjective. Beauty Does Not Lie in Physical Appearance. There are certain physical features that are attractive. However, undermining someone’s calibre and ability as per their skin colour is unacceptable and problematic. No matter how educated and efficient a girl is, but to find herself a suitable groom, she has to be fair and lovely! Brown skin girls are outcasted even at homes and family functions!
Beauty is not skin deep and a person is so much more than his physical appearance. From our childhood, this approach should be inculcated. Racism and colourism, in our country, starts when we step into our first social structure i.e., school. Students calling students as ‘Kaala’, ‘Kalu’, ‘Kali’, ‘Chudail’ are nothing but generation-long concepts of beauty.
Complexion or skin colour is nothing but a genetic trait. Being Indian, we should celebrate our diversity and cherish our amazing complexions. What makes a person attractive is his personality and his ways with people and approach to situations. Physical attributes should not determine abilities.
Owning and embracing my body has been my first step towards self-love and acceptance. We should never allow people to define ‘beauty’ for us.
Bollywood too has played a major role in glorifying fair skin and advocated an unachievable beauty standard. “Gore Gaal and Lambe Baal” is certainly not the definition of a beautiful woman. Compassion and kindness are. Be it Beyonce, Shakira, Bipasha or Rekha, every brown skin girl in such phase can look up to them. I am certain that the fair complexion of other women won’t stop them from being the legends that they already are.
As a brown woman in Indian society, I have learned to accept my flaws and celebrate myself every single day.
Whether it’s creams, lotions, or DIY paste, don’t let anyone tell what’s beautiful and what’s not. Self love is what you need.