Being Women

What Colour Should I Be?

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“She is not fair”, whispered my prospective mother-in-law to her dear husband.

As is the Indian tradition, an Indian family had come home to “see” me and I had just been rejected for my dark complexion.

Being dark or dusky in India is a crime. I am just wheatish. Isn’t that the complexion of most Indians? Her son had the same complexion as me but I was called dark!?


‘Fair and Lovely’, ‘Fair and Handsome’ and various other fairness creams by different companies have guaranteed to give us a fairer complexion in a matter of few days. Is this what we have come down to?

Let us picture a sports person who is dark complexioned. Were they rejected for their colour? Was Mr Obama not elected as President just because he is not ‘white’?  No! Then why is being ‘white’ so important for us?

Bipasha Basu, one of India’s very famous actresses, who has earned various accolades for her acting, is not fair. But, she is more beautiful than most fair complexioned actresses.

Are we expected to turn into light emitting instruments? Are people supposed to use sunglasses to shield their eyes because we’ve become so fair?

‘Guaranteed fairness in 14 days’.  Isn’t it ironic how God had planned to make me a beautiful, dark complexioned woman but some people do not find the colour to be appropriate?

The lady sitting in front of me, who had just passed a comment on my colour, had not asked me about my qualifications. She did not want to see if I was compatible with her son. Rather, she had been perplexed after seeing me. Many questions must have crossed her mind. How would I show her off to my friends? What would people say? A dark girl for my fair (Our complexions were same!) son? Would this lower our status in the society?

Yes! As absurd as it may sound, she would’ve really pondered over the last question. I say this with no exaggeration. People do have the misconceptions that fair colour increases your ‘class’ in the society.

We are broad minded in theory but practically, we are still stuck in the 19th century. There is a high probability that the 19th-century people would also find the present scenario irrational.

I am not trying to hurt anyone’s sentiments. But, I feel offended that most people, companies and magazines feed on the insecurities of most women to make business.

They should instead propagate feminism and accept everyone (not only women) in all shapes, sizes, colour, weight, height and whatever category they have decided to rate us in.

Let me be comfortable in my skin. Please.

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