Colour Coded #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z

I did not hear the hushed whispers and some loud guffaws when Mommy Daddy were not around- the topic was the colour of my skin. A dusky girl in India is doomed for its very difficult to find a suitable groom for her. Imagine, here I was lying in my crib, a day old and they were worried about my marriage. While foreigners love our brown skin, in our own country, there is a lot of prejudice against any skin colour thats not fair. The darker the shade, the more the bias against the person. Both boys and girls are subjected to this, but in the case of girls its more severe.

Its funny that as a kid such things never strike us. When I grew older, I absolutely adored Jamie- he is my friend from Kenya who stays nearby- I found him “the most beautiful person” as I confided in my mom – and thats because he was kind and funny and cared for me. In contrast I hated Fathima who had milky white skin, deep blue eyes, dimples and a slender waist- and thats because she always made me and the other girls and boys feel small, she mocked at us. Though people called her beautiful, for me she was the most ugly person. But as I grew up and read those fairly tales about a beautiful, fair princess and watched movies, overheard conversations around me- a new definition of beauty started evolving in my mind. A definition which destroyed my self confidence, bit by bit for I branded myself as “not beautiful”. Over the years as I grew into a young woman and started reading about how skin colour does not define a person and whats most important is being comfortable in one’s own skin, did I realise the years of harm I had inflicted upon myself.

I started wearing black colour and bright colours like yellow which always attracted me but I hadn’t worn clothes in those colours as people told me ‘you will look more dark’. I realised how beautiful I looked and a part of it came from the inner confidence and self love which I had cultivated. I would like to tell every little girl and boy who is reading this ” Take pride in your colour, your heritage , your identity. There is no other like you. If you change any part of yourself, maybe the new you may fit society’s definition of beauty but you would no longer be “you,” just a caricature of the older you. Would you feel beautiful then?

Linking up with  #BlogchatterA2ZChallenge

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My theme for the challenge is

“A slice of life through Myra’s eyes” – a fictional tale of growing up and learning some vital lessons about self love, feminism, sisterhood, a working woman and the essence of being a woman in urban India.   

Image source-Leanindia.com

64 thoughts on “Colour Coded #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z

  1. I agree Akshata. But the skin colour obsession is all over the world. That’s a major reason for racism too. I am glad you chose to share story of Myra to address social issues and create awareness. And I am sure as we reach the end of the story, Myra will emerge as a strong person and a daughter every parent would want.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Our minds has been conditioned by international views, especially beauty pageants and the cosmetic industry behind it . There was no need for fairness creams fifty years ago. Our women used natural products and looked radiant. Cleopatra, supposed to be the most beautiful woman, was dark.

        This series is excellent, Akshata. Waiting to read more.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Love how you are bringing out the little issues faced by a girl growing up in India one at a time. Really awesome idea! Hope to learn a lot from Myra’s perspective.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hey, Akshata, what I liked about you is that you truly believe in gender equality. You speak of both males & females with equal concern & empathy. The way you present psychological aspect is amazing. You don’t emphasize & preach. It comes naturally with the flow and strikes straight. It’s commendable.

    You rightly said that we set standards and values in our life. If we set it carefully, we’ll be happy. It beautifully reflects in how the definition of beauty changes in the story.

    As far as being dusky is concerned, it’s famously said that Laila was also dark. Also, one of the most beautiful women in mythology/history who is supposed to be the cause of the great Mahabharata war was dusky. Draupadi was also called Krishnaa because of her skin colour. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thx so much Ravish for those words, personally I hate to be preached at or preach for that matter. To make a point I firmly believe in I always look for real life examples which are more effective

      Like

  4. The milky white tone – how many stories have we had of that rare girl who has it. Fair is beautiful is what the society teaches us since we are kids. Good post on the topic!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The problem, across the world and in India as well, is that we don’t accept that there is a problem. We play blame games and victimise ourselves but don’t accept that there is a problem of racism and many other issues. We cannot solve an issue if we aren’t ready to accept that there is one.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. My previous post on letter B was on this, #BeYou. Reminds me of a movie dialogue- Ladka kitna bhi kala ho, ladki usse gori hi chahiye. Huh! Girls are still judged on their complexion, on their cooking skills, on their dressing sense. I wonder when will we actually progress!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I agree with you, Akshata. It’s about that special connection you feel for someone, that someone is the most beautiful person.

    Things have started to change a little, thankfully, however it is still the main concern when it comes to the marriage of a girl with dusky complexion. And, it happens in well educated families. I’ve seen some people struggling for their dark skinned daughters’ marriage (no matter how educated/talented). I’ve seen people “preferring” less educated fair girls to highly educated dark skinned girls. This obsession with ‘fairness’ is sad.

    Very thoughtful article.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Tarang for stopping by. True it’s about how a person treats us and makes us feel that defines how beautiful they are for us. Sadly the world doesn’t understand this definition

      Like

  8. Recently my daughter came across the remark… “You are dark” and it was none other than from one of her friend from kindergarten stage. Few days later when she invited her for a play date at her house, my daughter refused. I was surprised. When I prodded my daughter for the reason, she narrated the incidence and then added, “Why does she need a dark person now? I am not available for her”. I then had to talk to both the girls about the matter.
    Till date I wonder who might have planted the seeds of colour discrimination weed in the mind of the other girl? Are parents, relatives or society not responsible for polluting a young mind?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Skin colour prejudice is rampant the world over though in India we have made it a specialty to mock girls and kill their self esteem! Just the other day a friend was mentioning that her friend who is just about to get married was being “advised” by her going to be MIL to take care of herself and not step in the sun and perhaps get some beauty treatments; the wedding is round the corner and she should look good. The girl has a dark skintone and her would be MIL is worried how the attendees would react to her countenance. My friend was most upset on her friend’s beahlf as she herself has gone through this with her MIL. These women are city bred, career women who still face this nonsense!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Little lessons needed to be learnt and indeed to be shared. Thanks for sharing. If only people were better at understanding and sharing the same message instead of prejudice on color, many wouldn’t have to be ashamed for nothing and learn this lesson the hard way!

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  11. Our country is obsessed with the fair skin colour and you made a very relevant point that beauty is not outside its inside. Hope people understand this and stop judging on the basis of skin colour.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. This was so well articulated Akshata. Yes, the obsession with fair skin is rampant but I am glad some of the leading actresses in Bollywood are dusky and unwittingly helping in breaking this perception. I wonder why we are so prejudiced when it comes to skin colour.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. You have highlighted a great many points that we face in a country as diversified as ours. And yet it all comes down to colour, more often than not. It’s while growing up, and once being an adult also it continues.
    Well written post.
    And yes, the answer to your question.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. And yet another similarity between Sudan and India. Isn’t the world so sarcastic? I’m a black girl in an African country – that while the community also varies in color shades but the majority are still black – and I’m facing this kind of criticism? One should ship to Mars.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. This is prevalent even today and with all the beauty product advertisement it is a menace. I just hope we move towards a better future where we can accept others inspite of their skin colors.

    Liked by 1 person

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