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Yesterday when I was unpacking some old stuff wrapped in a newspaper, a matrimonial advertisement in the newspaper caught my attention. I could not help but burst into peels of uncontrollable laughter.
The advertisement read “ Only Son 28/6’01” MBA (IIPM) B.Com (S.R.C.C).Looking after the family business .We are looking for a very fair, exceptionally Beautiful girl.”
The advertisement made me ponder which century we are in? If the prospective groom is so educated with innumerable degrees under his belt to brag about ,why does he have such patriarchal mindset?
As per Psychologist and relationship expert Mary George Varghese educating people about such discrimination is necessary: "Education is the tool that can eradicate such practices from society. People should be trained to accept individuals the way they are, and made to realize that discrimination on the basis of color is something that even the Constitution doesn't accept," she says.
Though education is said to change mindsets, it is considered as the most powerful weapon to change the world, but Alas! I can barely see a change, even in this 21st Century!
I am incessantly poked to think as to Why are women being valued merely for their outward appearance and not for who they are and what they stand for?
Statistically, most Indian guys would prefer a fair-skinned girl rather than one with a dark complexion. This unfair obsession for lighter skin, I think, has stemmed from the ever popular western culture and it's influence on our precious Indian culture which is losing it's place.
I do understand that there is definite color bias in our society, several young women suffer from low self-esteem. They are all expected to fit into certain stereotypes and are judged based on their skin color, body shapes, etc. The pressure to look ‘beautiful’ is always there. Who decides what’s beautiful? It’s the person behind the skin you should be looking at not merely at the superficial external beauty!
Unfortunately these days people are only concerned about the surface level beauty, ignoring the deeper quality of intelligence and other personality traits that contributes to making an individual stand out in the crowd.
The other day I was reading about a female banker, 34, who tied the knot last year, but only after being 'rejected' by several men because of her skin color. She says, "Initially, I didn't know why people rejected my proposals. No one would tell me the reason, until one day when I asked one of them. I was 26 then, and this man's disclosure shattered me. I still thought he was an exception and the reason why the other men didn't want to marry me was something else, until I asked a second man who also gave me the same answer."
I am a rabid believer that media is a powerful tool and has the potential to help a society recover from its negative practices and harsh prejudices, I am dreaming of the day when brands would introduce ads that celebrate ‘beauty beyond color’ and visibly give value and respect to all skin tones. I hope to see people of all skin tones being celebrated and cherished on our movie screens as well as in our mundane lives.
We all need to be in this together to see visible change, we need to make people believe “Fair is not always Lovely”,and fairness is not always synonymous with being beautiful.. even “Dark is beautiful”.