Unbearable ‘light’ness of being

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | NAMITA GUPTA
Published Jun 25, 2016, 12:00 am IST
Updated Jun 25, 2016, 7:07 am IST
From the bridegroom’s family who are looking for a fair bride for their son to the beauty industry insisting on bleaching skin tone.
Dusky beauty Mitali in a photograph used for representational purposes only. Even as fair skin is more popular, she is happy with her dusky skin tone.
 Dusky beauty Mitali in a photograph used for representational purposes only. Even as fair skin is more popular, she is happy with her dusky skin tone.

The phrase ‘Beauty is more than skin deep’ doesn’t hold true for many in today’s day and age. A trend sweeping Bengaluru is that need for fair skin, this time prompted by family members. Dark skin has been looked down upon for ages, but it is surprising that even today, many youngsters are going in for skin lightening treatments. Some parents are putting pressure on their daughters of marriageable age, to go in for skin lightening. We explore this trend.

From the bridegroom’s family who are looking for a fair bride for their son to the beauty industry insisting on bleaching skin tone. Confessing to have fallen for the fad, Vidya Laxmi, mother of a young daughter, states, “My daughter will is  ready to tie the knot and before we start looking for prospective grooms, I want her to go in for a skin lightening treatment to improve her chances of getting a better groom.” Bengaluru model Mitali loves her dusky skin.

 

“Skin lightening is the lamest thing I’ve ever heard. Beauty is about being comfortable in your own skin. If you can be so insecure about your colour you can never be satisfied about anything. All Westerners are going for a tanned and bronzed look and it’s sad to hear that some Indian men are still looking for fair brides. I love my colour and I'm proud to wear it. Parents should’nt ask their kids for such harmful treatments.”

Cosmetologists in the city are faced with ethical issues when mothers come asking for lightening their daughter’s skin tone by a few shades. Dr Shuba Dharmana agrees that she has been treating a lot of young girls accompanied by their moms.

 

“I would be lying if I said I didn’t have any girls of marriageable age asking for skin lightening treatments. A course of peels helps to brighten skin and the glow they see with the new skin is enough to give them satisfaction. On the other end of the spectrum, I’ve seen people who would do anything to get their skin several shades lighter. It’s not my help they need but a counsellor’s.”

Tasneem Nakhoda, psychotherapist, Tattva think it’s unfortunate that some mothers push daughters towards skin whitening treatments for better prospects of finding a groom.

 

“Mothers may not realise, but this can add a lot of unwanted stress and damage self confidence. These daughters grow older with this thought and could pass it on to their own children. There’s so much more to beauty that is to be appreciated. Being fair is not always fair!”

Being comfortable in your own skin is incredibly important feels Fever RJ Divya Sharda who started a campaign  I Love My Colour. Nandita Das and Radhika Apte supported the cause to share how the bias for fair skin affected them in the film industry.

 

“There are so many with wheatish to dark on the so-called shade card and being dark is seen as a problem. Matrimonial ads are a testament to it. I spoke to one such gentleman who wanted a fair bride and the reason he cited was that his son was dark and for the next generation to be fair, a fair girl was a must.” It’s time we change this deep rooted bias.

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