Posted in My life

Being ‘Fair’


Of all the pressure I bore being a woman born in India, the pressure of being ‘fair’ has been the weirdest.

In India, fair skin means white skin. I was born a Marwadi Hindu, that translates into skin the color of soil…

The soil used to grow cotton…

Black soil…

My mother, who is not Marwadi, is far ‘fairer’ and spent several years scrubbing me up but I was my father’s daughter through and through.

As a child, I never cared about it. My cousins dabbling with ‘fairness’ creams were always mystery to me. These people were less admired, less loved and least preferred in marriage–second-class citizens. I wondered why? Is it our slave mentality? After 200 years of slavery under white-skinned people, have we started believing that white skin is superior? (No disrespect intended to white-skinned readers)

As a way to show my anger, I shunned all fairness creams and lived on just soap and water…that is, until I was bitten by the love bug.

I married a guy whose family was far ‘fairer’. They were a loving family so they took it upon themselves to make me look ‘beautiful’. Their sincere attempts to hide my color under the layers of make up made me sad. I went along with it though, applying fairness creams and bleaches with no results, using a lot of make up to hide my-‘self’, until one day my husband had had enough. He told me the make-up makes me look dead and I am beautiful without it all.

Now the make up and fairness creams are lying in some landfill while I walk around in my ‘beautiful’ skin inside my happy bubble.

Photo by Brian Asare on Unsplash