Get Inspired, Be Empowered › Forums › General Discussions › Our society has begun unlearning colourism. Reality or Illusion? › Reply To: Our society has begun unlearning colourism. Reality or Illusion?
In modern-day India, colorism is perpetuated and reinforced by several factors, including the cultural significance of a “fair complexion” to many Indians, the omnipresence of the fairness-oriented Indian media, and socially rewarded phenotypic traits in Bollywood’s leading men. From the ancient Indian rishi, Manu, who thought blue-skinned people superior to darker-hued brethren, colorism in India has ranged from a fanciful fairytale to modern-day practice (Palladino). The notion of distinctively different skin colors was prevalent and varied from region to region.
So how has colorism in India manifested itself over time? In the past – and various pockets of the country even today – dark-skinned Indians were discriminated against for employment, marriage prospects, and social acceptance. Caste hierarchies among the South Asian population bolster this prejudice further, with the upper castes generally being lighter in color. Traditionally, Indian bridegrooms and their families are interested in a fair complexion, especially signifying the whiteness of the skin. Fair skin is universally considered to be the most beautiful skin color as it signifies kinship with Europeans.
When we envision a darker-skinned girl next to a lighter-skinned girl, we tend to assume that the former will be fairer in her treatment of others. To many darker-skinned women, being treated fairly in society has meant having to somehow bury their skin tone. In other words, they have to ‘pass.’ The shade of one’s skin becomes a substitute for character traits like intelligence, competence, and generosity; it even comes preloaded with certain assumptions about personality. As human beings, we are material creatures and we love earthly things. We ordinarily love these earthly things for which we have got an eye. In our modern era, beauty is a vital point that is appreciated by every pair of eyes. The most essential quality of beauty that makes it more astonishing is the color of a person. But there is no denying the fact that the color of a person matters in society and mostly the appreciation and admiration comes when it is white because, white color symbolizes purity, beauty, etc.
The one who does it knowingly is ignorant while the other who blindly follows doesn’t know any better. An ignorant person doesn’t mean to harm but because of lack of awareness inflicts pain on others and at the same time also causes damage to oneself. To be fair that all these have their roots in the dark ages but still even now it has a profound impact on the lives of women. It is primarily based on our own experiences and perceptions which are so much implanted in us, until and unless we break the shackles and or liberate ourselves for some new ground.
If everyone has the attitude to accept someone for who they are and see beyond color, this unlearning colorism will come sooner than ever before. Discrimination in any form is wrong and whether it happens on basis of caste, creed, or color it is a matter of shame for the entire human race.