Is Fair Really Better?
Are you a person with dark, wheatish, or caramel looking skin? Then, this piece is for you. Actually, scratch that, it's for ALL of us, with white, dark, wheatish, caramel, whatever skin tone. The point is - the colour of your skin DOESN’T MATTER.
What Is Colourism?
We have all heard and witnessed various racism campaigns and know what it is. But have you ever wondered what Colourism is? It’s rather simple - when people are discriminated against based on their skin colour.
Throughout history, people of colour have always been treated differently around the world. Colourism is an inherent bias that fuels a multi-billion dollar beauty industry. (Ahem, you know who we’re referring to!)
For years now, the idea of dark-skinned people has been associated with a myriad of negative connotations, whereas the whites have been deemed the superior race - no thanks to colonialism.
Most of us Indians have taken to remedies (home or store-bought) to look ‘fairer’ at some point in our lives. Face packs, Multani mitti, besan, Haldi, fairness creams - you name it, we’ve all tried it at least once in our lives. Not just India, most people from former colonies around the world have experienced this. This sad reality has driven many fairness campaigns around the world and has caused a lot of mental and physical harm to people of colour.
Is It A Historical Problem?
Historically, India has always been a vibrant and diverse country with each region having people with their unique skin colour and texture. However, people have been discriminated against based on their skin colour as it has also been closely linked to caste supremacy. A brilliantly written paper on “India And Colourism” by Neha Mishra discusses how caste, class, religion, region, gender and economics are all factors to be considered when discussing the issue.
So, if history is to be believed - is fair really better?
Nope. Never. No! It isn’t - being fairer-skinned is just as good as being dark-skinned, or having a wheatish complexion. Centuries of colonial history has made us believe that having euro-centric features is superior. This notion not only harms our mental and physical health - but sneakily makes big corporations millions of dollars every year.
Makeup and skincare industries coupled with mainstream advertising impact the way we perceive human beauty and their worth every day. The prejudice, the discrimination - it all stems from a narrow concept of what beauty should look like around the world.
Thankfully today, this is changing, there is the discourse around skin-inclusivity and many brands are now making products that suit Indian skin tones.
At The Coconut People, we believe that EVERY skin tone is beautiful. The colour of our skin tells a beautiful story of our lineage, history and our roots. It needs to be celebrated and loved.
You are beautiful just the way you are and no one can take that away from you!