We all must have heard people telling their children “Don't drink too much tea" or "Don't go out in the sun“. Parents say this not because they are protective of their child's skin but because they are afraid of the skin colour getting darker. Even the celebrities are openly endorsing 'Fairness' creams. Just imagine what will happen one day if a commercial pops up 'Change your eyes from black to purple or black to blue'. You may call it absurdity but that is what we are doing. Its time for reality check, We don't change our eyes because of a certain colour because they cant be changed and if one has a certain shade of eyes, do we make fun of it? Then what happens when it comes to skin colour? Absurdity is that we occupy a world where we are measured in terms of complexion! We have segregated people like genres into 'blacks', 'whites' and what not!
One day I was having a chat with my niece who enlightened me that in her school it was even better because they had 3 incredible categories, 'Black'', 'White' and 'Brown'. Such novelty is commendable! Just imagine a 8 year old life living with such core stereotypes, Being bullied at school and looked down upon because of her colour.
Something which is determined by a pigment is now deciding the course of our lives!. We live in a world where are Calibre and virtues are overshadowed by our skin colour. Psychology says that black – white stereotype is still present in our subconscious even if we do not admit it consciously. Infact, there are times when we are not even aware of the fact that we hold prejudice against black people. It is not that we are to be blamed, but it is the result of the attitudes that were transferred from generation to generation and has become something very instinctive or something which comes naturally to us. Stereotypes are hard to break but the only way to tackle with them is to become conscious of the fact that they exist. To doubt their existence is sheer ignorance.
I hope these questions will help us to accept our hidden attitudes
- Do we feel more attracted to a white baby than a black baby?
- Do we consider the fair coloured to be more clean in comparison to the dark complexioned?
- If given a choice, which colour would you choose?
The purpose of these questions is not to embarss someone or make someone feel low about themselves. The logic is simple, if we wish to solve an issue, the primary step is acceptance. I know that there are millions of beautiful souls out there who love genuinely and it is not their fault. Something which has come from collective consciousness and is part of our subconscious is not defining us. We don't like discriminating but we as individuals are helpless, because somewhere our subconscious makes us do things which we don't wish to do. In order to cure a disease, we need to accept that we are ill, then only the medicine works lest everything goes in vain. Also the other way round, even people with darker complexion have a natural tendency to feel low about them. We must remember this that there are people who have successfully gone beyond these stigmas, but there are also many who are still under its clutches.
Let us turn our discussion to the problems we are facing due to colour discrimination. The most upsetting thing about this stereotype is that it has reached the mind of the most impressionable lives and that is our children. They face bullying and are treated badly because they have a darker shade of skin. They develop inferiority complex and become socially withdrawn which makes them more susceptible to diseases like depression and anxiety. They lose confidence and become uncomfortable in their own skin. There is nothing worst than making a person feel inferior just because god has made them in a certain way. There are extremely talented actors out there but just because of their colour and face structure, they are rejected. They are tagged with names like 'Brownie' or 'Chocolate'. Till date many Indian girls are rejected for marriage and thought to be unfit for it if they are dark in colour. Even in some families , the fairer child receives more attention than a darker one. Even the endorsements projected on television make us feel that if one is dark then they are incomplete or it is something which needs to be corrected. All Bollywood songs are written in praise of fairness.
I recently heard the story of ‘ Priyanka Chopra' who was bullied for her darker tone and as a result of it, she used to eat her tiffin alone.I am reminded of a similar incident which happened with my younger daughter. She is a passionate cricket player and cricket being a field sport, she was always in close aquaintance with the sun. As a mother I was proud of nuturing her passion every single day of her life. With course of time her complexion started suffering due to long hours spent in the territory of the sun. For me the situation was like diamond which was getting polished but society failed to notice what I had noticed as a mother. What others saw was that she was getting dark and used to ask me to make her restrict her hours on the field or make her wear 'Ubtan', so she could be saved from getting dark. That day I realised that colour discrimination is not functioning on the surface level of things but has reached the deepest core of our humanity where it is interfering with our genuinely borne passions. The colour of our skin is more important than our ambitions or our purpose of life. This is where we are standing today!
Till this very day, many so called 'Whites' consider their supremacy over Indians or Africans because of their skin colour. This is nothing to be proud of . Those who are proud of their skin colour must be proud of the amount of nonsense they are nurturing and pouring within. Will you discard an iPhone because it has a black body? Same is the story of humans, the cover may be black but what is inside is worth millions, you never know! There have been so many actresses who in spite of being dark are extremely beautiful. If we make choices by colour, we would discard IPhone to buy an ordinary Samsung phone just because we don't like its colour. Though IPhone is black but it has a hell of features and has a height which no other phone has ever been able to reach. So, dont make such big blunders.
History is a witness that great people or leaders do not originate because of their skin colour but because of their virtues. There have been people who have not only accepted the situation but have made a conscious effort to change it. Nelson Mandela or Rosa Park were ones who refused to confirm to the conventions of the world. They were living examples of the fact that in order to gain respect in the world, self respect and self love is a must. Till the time the dark complexioned people wont accept themselves and will not love the way they have been designed, they will always feel less of themselves and this shall make them slaves of the white.
Barack Obama, the black president who ruled the white nation! There is no powerful colour than the colour of authenticity and confidence. Body colour only distracts but if a person is authentic, even the subconscious will drop its weapon before it. The only person who can make us feel bad is, 'I', 'Me' and 'Myself'. No one should be entitled to make you feel less except yourself. World will accept you when you accept yourself. Let world relay commercials but you don't pay heed to it, you always have the choice. Your skin colour must not interfere with your true passions and if it is then its time for a change in perspective.
With my experience in life, I have gathered that it is never easy to change society, people will continue putting you down on one pretext or the other. Skin colour is just an excuse. As a person if you don't respect yourself, then don't expect others to do it. Love yourself unconditionally . One day when you will be soaring high in the sky, then no one will bother to look at your face or try to lecture you on your complexion. There is no powerful colour than the true colour of your soul which never allow such trivialities to let them down. Your skin colour will soon fade behind the brightness of your talents and shining light of your soul. Don't be distracted by it, those who live by it would also fade soon!