I have often wondered why the grass is greener on the other side. We Indians seem to be enamored with fair skin. We try all types of creams trying to change our skin tone. Until very recently, even the most talented actress would put powder all over herself trying to appeal to Indian audiences. Marketeers have gone to the extent of introducing “Fair and Handsome” – a fairness cream for men!
The paradox hits me every time I see fair skinned foreigners and their love for the sun. We usually run for the cover of umbrellas so as not to get tanned and they put extra lotion on themselves so that they DO get tanned. They can often be seen lying on pool sides or beaches trying to get a dusky complexion.
So is it just a case of greener grass on the other side? I think not. It is my opinion that fair skinned people have only recently started admiring dark skin. If that wasn’t the case, the evil step mother should have said “Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the darkest of them all”. To be ‘fair’ is associated with good things. To be just, to be pretty. White has always been the color of heavens and angels. But on the other hand, dark connotes evil, doom, negativity. Why is it that the Victorian era always saw women carrying little umbrellas to save their skin from the rays of the sun?
I am not a sucker for fairness. I don’t get a heart-attack if I get a tan line and I don’t think Bipasha Basu is any way less pretty than Aishwarya Rai. But neither is it alarming to me anymore when Indian women run for the cover of umbrellas when they come out of the swimming pool. It’s just the way we are….