To be wheatish or not to be wheatish is the question, as though I have the option to choose. The disturbing facts about the color of my skin started propping up when I started groom-hunting. When I put up my most eligible bachelorette profile online, we had a discussion about what the color of my skin should be on my profile. Is it wheatish or is it fair? My uncle and my mom took a good look at me, and went with fair. When I protested, my mom said, ‘People who are wheatish are putting fair, so why not you? You are fairer than wheatish so you are fair’. I had to agree, after all who doesn’t like an elevated status?
I was having a casual chit chat with my grandmother from my paternal side, about a guy’s proposal, I looked at online and my family of three almost liked him.
My grandmother asked me, ‘How does he look like?’
I replied in a casual tone, ‘He looks okay’
‘What about his color?’
‘He is a bit dark’
‘Well take care then.’
‘Oh come on!’
‘You are at least of this color because of your mother. You have to be thankful for that.’
There goes another treasured family secret about me revealed to me.
I have had aunts’ at family functions, who proudly boasted, how they could change the color of their daughters’ skin. ‘Give me a few months. She will be as fair as a coconut.’
During my PhD days in Chicago, my friend and I discussed about what would be a lucrative entrepreneurship in India. It was summer time, the sun was blazing hot, determined to make our wheatish skins even darker. We had to apply a load of sunscreen with the highest SPF to protect the valuable color of our skin, after all our future depended on it.
We saw an American woman in shorts, with tanned skin passing by us. I told my friend, ‘You know what, just as these people have their tanning equipment we should have whitening equipment in India, that would be a great business.’
She replied, ‘Yes that is so true.’
We don’t have equipment that makes our skin fair yet, but we do have a ton of whitening creams in market, which promise to improve our color. By the way, I am also surprised at how Shahrukh Khan has become fair over the years and even started giving fairness cream ads. Those creams should really work!
Unfortunately, Miss America 2013, Nina Davuluri, did not take this important factor of being fair, seriously. You see, she did not have these Indian Aunts and grandmothers hovering around her and reminding her of color and how her color could relate to her marriage prospects and even job prospects. If they did, she would have become fair like Shahrukh Khan, become one among the Americans and would not have to face the racist comments of being an Arab. Poor Nina, all her achievements downgraded because of her color. What a shame!
I love women who are dark, like Naomi Campbell, Rekha (in the 70’s & 80’s), Bipasha Basu and Nandita Das. If a woman is fair all you look at, is her color. If a woman is dark, then you notice her features, how beautiful her eyes are, how full her lips are and how toned her face is. I am always attracted to the features than just the superficial color and of course, it is always the inner beauty that matters.
All images from google images