To start with, I have always been a Fair & Lovely person which I thought was my bulwark against the mockery of the world. My tanned complexion gave me inferiority complex – plenty of it. I would not go out or meet anyone until I was covered in minimum 3 layers of the cream. To my surprise though, the cream NEVER did any good to my skin much less magically transform me into a swan. Forget getting fairer or lovelier, all I got was pimples, stubborn scars and then some more fresh pimples sprouting overnight. My inferiority complex, though, forced me to latch onto the cream for good. Soon it was me and my dermatologist – one after the other – as come what may I was apparently not going to give up on that good-for-nothing cream.
However, it was just one week of thinking which finally rid me of this problem forever. What was I doing to myself? Why should I let just one problem overshadow my qualities and jinx my life forever? I really needed a break – actually my skin cried for a break AND oxygen. Why can’t I be tanned yet confident and successful? Who says beauty is skin deep only and why, in the first place, was I relating beauty to fair complexion at all?
That was my epiphany. I learned and realized that we live in such a world where the definition and concept of female beauty has been narrowed down to having fair and flawless skin. We want to look beautiful so that others will like and accept us. We want to live up to the standard set by society, no matter how bogus it might be.
Us South Asians, we are cruel people as far as skin colour is concerned and the media, I believe, reflects, in fact, magnifies this problem. We are shown a depressed looking girl sitting in darkness, fretting over her dark skin and spots and how she misses out on her dream job and prince charming who would notice (read: recognize) her and be hit by cupid only if she uses that particular cream for 15 ½ days.
Use this magic cream, another ad flaunts, for just 7.215 days and miraculously get the much coveted air-hostess job by charming the interviewers.
Ridiculous, I say! Last I remembered, I got this a six-figure salaried job on account of my confidence and skills because I have long since stopped using these fairness creams. Oh and yes, I still manage to get heads turned for me as well.
So all you ladies just remember one thing – do not let people (negatively) judge you and kill your confidence. You are beautiful, yes, but please realize that there is a lot more to you than your complexion and appearance. Tanned or fair, you are beautiful because you are you! Learn your importance and value. As for me, ever since I realized my potential and other skills, I evolved from a shy indoor girl to a confident professional woman – still tanned though but with a completely satisfied life and I-own-what-I-am attitude. Life now, I tell you, is fair and lovely.
Published in Womag.pk on 08 March , 2012