‘Fair or Dark & the Measure of Beauty’
- “Being happy in your skin that's what it's all about.” - Koo Stark
- “There is no beauty without strangeness.” - Karl Lagerfeld
- “We ascribe beauty to that which… is the mean of many extremes.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson
- “Mechanisms of natural selection and genetic drift have led to an increased frequency of particular traits which now we recognize as desirable.” - Anon.
- Indians exhibit preference for being ‘Fair’. Is this indicative of a ‘Racist / Slavish’ mind set derived out of centuries of being ruled by the white skinned?
- Since the shade of skin colour seems to be a factor for natural selection globally, could it have some other rationale?
- Beauty is more than just skin deep and is measured differently.
- ‘Fairness creams’ are the most selling Cosmetic aid even in other Asian Countries such as China – where according to Indian standards people are already fair?
- Rank of Countries in total number of cosmetic procedures, both surgical and non surgical - according to Business India: USA - 1st, Brazil - 2nd, China - 3rd and India - 4th.
- Rank of procedures in India: Liposuction - 1st, Breast augmentation – 2nd, Hair transplantation – 3rd. However complexion care would beat all of them.
The subject of Colour preference seems to attract a lot of strong emotion laden comments from a wide range of people from across the Country. ‘Racist’, ‘Slavish mentality’, 'Casteist’, ‘Prejudiced’, are some of the many adjectives used by many to deride other people who, unlike themselves, they would like to think are colour conscious.
The implications of shades of complexion, whether fair or dark, have arisen from a bias that was based on an economic foundation. Over the ages since, we seem to have forgotten this basis and now remember and react to only the conclusion resulting in mistaken attitudes. An error we need to understand and rectify and not permit it to further distort our views of the real issue. It is therefore now time to take a balanced and realistic look at this matter, for which we need to ask ourselves these questions.
- Why do we Indians want to be fair and seek fair spouses?- ‘Tall, Fair and Handsome’ . Does this show racist, slavish, casteist etc mind set, or is it a response because of a natural or evolutionary bias to what we culturally equate fairness with – people who are not labourers and who can afford to not work in the sun? This bias existed from well before the invasion of the fair skinned and can thus hardly be called racist or slavish etc.
- Why are the white skinned people of European descent keen on tanning themselves darker and go for Cosmetics that shade, blush and colour them? Suntan lotions and Tanning beds are greatly in demand there and of course – ‘Tall, Dark and Handsome’ - is this because of a cultural bias towards those of