Friday, April 19, 2024

Fair Skin In Indian Culture: An Infatuation

Fair skin tone? Sounds lovely, right or not?

Whether you agree or not, people in India will continue to admire fair skin tone. The obsession with fair skin tone is not a new topic and is increasing day by day. This has become a part of our culture, facing the test of time, and is still present today. 

Nobody can deny that most of the people in India want to have a fair skin tone. Nobody wants to have a darker skin tone. Because they think that fair skin fits best to them according to the beauty standards made by society. 

You must have heard phrases like,

Do not drink tea as it will make you dark. Going out in the sun will darken your skin tone. No one will marry you with such a dark skin tone. You are beautiful for a dark-skinned person.

Rhetorical phrases like these drive many Indians to get a fair tone as it will be accepted by society. Moreover, this creates an uncomfortable environment for those who feel that their skin is not beautiful as it is darker in color and they do not meet the beauty standards created by the people of the society.  

History of Skin Complexion

Around 2500 years ago, every dominant class like Mughals, Aryans in ancient India was born with fair skin tone, coincidently. Also, India was under the rule of Portuguese, Danish, French, and British having a fair skin tone majorly.

Hence, having a fair skin tone is considered superior and privileged by the beauty standards coming from the European roots. This influenced many people to think that fair skin tone is a part of a high standardized community.

Skin Pigmentation and Creation of Beauty Standards

Melanin is a substance present in the skin that is responsible for skin pigmentation and varies due to genetics and other factors as well. Indian skin is prone to pigmentation disorders which cause variations in skin complexions thus, resulting in higher demand to get fair skin tone.

In 1978, Fair and lovely creams were launched and attracted a huge amount of audiences as the cream claimed to make the pigmented area lighter within a couple of days that left women questioning their skin tone. In 2005, A skin whitening cream, Fair and handsome for men was launched that made men question their skin tone to be accepted by the beauty standards made by the fair skin superior culture.

India’s white cream market went up to $432m that raised by 18% every year, creating a higher demand for more skin whitening products.

Impacts and influences created by Celebrities and Society

Cricket players and Bollywood celebrities keep endorsing these fair cream brands influencing a huge number of audiences to question their existence with their natural skin tone. Bollywood prefers casting fair-skinned actors, which begins to create the mindset of fair skin tone is superior in the mind of youngsters as well.

All those influencers we see on social media platforms use filters and edits to make their skin look attractive that leaves thousands of followers wondering and wanting the same fair skin tone as those famous ones out there. 

Fairness creams try to portray a relationship between being fair and beautiful often leading to bring the concept of colorism in society. Mostly, women are victimized for their skin color on daily basis.

People around us damage our self-esteem by referring to us as dark. These words coming out, breaks a person from the inside out, sometimes leading to depression. People around us create snide remarks and try to break our self-confidence. 

  • Being beautiful and proud of yourself!

Our society has created a hierarchy of beauty that tells us that fair-skinned people are the epitome of beauty as compared to the dark-skinned ones putting them in the bottom line. This creates a disturbing mindset in people. All we can do is to stop letting ourselves being pompous by their point of view and living on our terms.

You were born with this skin tone and you cannot change it. Learn to live in it and embrace it the way it is. Your achievements and accomplishments in life do not depend on the color of your skin. Do not ruin your mental health due to this. These are the barriers created by society only and you are a part of this society too. You have the power to change it. Begin the change that you need in our society. You can bring a positive change to future generations as well.

Remember, your body and color are beautiful the way it is. Carry yourself with the utmost confidence and destroy the stereotypical beliefs created in the past. You are beautiful just the way you are so, embrace it.

Also read: How Is Pandemic Treating the Fashion Industry

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