In India, there are people of different colour and races. In the south people are more dark, whereas in the north people are much more fairer.
Some people from the northern state of Punjab have blue eyes and fair skin. Had not for the dress women wear in Punjab, it would be hard to distinguish whether she is Indian or European 🙂
The market for beauty and fair creams in India is humongous. In India men and women want to be white. During tv shows, very often advertising companies advertise their fairness creams. The biggest manufacturer of fairness creams in india(Unilever) brought the creams into market in the 1970’s. It was a huge success. They show the before and after pictures of men/women who look darker before applying the cream, and men/women who are fair in the ‘after’ pictures. Very often actresses in Indian film industry have very fair skins, and therefore they are brand ambassadors of many such beauty creams. Can You complain that people buy these creams? Which young Indian girl wouldn’t want to look fair like her favourite film actress? Young Indian men want to look fair like Sharukh khan or like Salman Khan. I think the reason we feel inferior to others because of our skin colour, is mostly because we were colonised by the British. If we were not inferior, then we would not have been colonised. That is our logic. British people introduced untouchability in India. People who were peasants and had dark skins, were not allowed to touch the British elite. That explains it all.
I was born with a little fairer skin than my friends. My nick name in school was white cockroach :). I remember that in school and college, my friends would very often say that they wish they had fairer skins. Often at times it felt a little bit weird that my friends were feeling a little bit inferior to people who had lighter skin. In a way i also had guilt that i was not looking like my friends.
In Poland, people go to the beaches to get tanned. There are Solarium’s in every part of the town. People complain that they look too white. They go for that tanned look. Women in Poland use make up to look & feel better. Men and women use anti ageing creams, but there is no complex about colour as we Indians have. In the streets and in the city centre, people are amazed by foreigners who have different skin colour(i understand that, we feel the same way when europeans comes to our country). Still, people in Poland are comfortable with their skin colour. There is no inferiority complex
I remember in the beginning when i came to Poland, I was afraid that people will discriminate me for my skin colour. I thought that since I am brown, I am less attractive than other men who are white and fairer. I was not proud of my race and skin colour. Since i was brown, i thought that I am dirty. Many a times i was afraid to leave home a certain day or to ride my bicycle in the city centre. I had thoughts that I am inferior to other European men. I am trying to fight with it. I still have this complex. Not too long ago, i asked my dad to send me a very famous skin whitening cream from India. I have used this fairness cream in Poland many times, in the hopes that it would make me much more fair and attractive, so that i could leave my home normally(so weird, right?) My friends in Poland, accept me for who i am. I am really happy with that.
The feeling that brown skin is inferior to white is imprinted on our brains, from the day since we were born. I know many men in India, who are very confident with their looks and don’t feel inferior at all with their looks. But these are one in 100 men. If you ask my mother or father, whether they have this complex, they would say no. This preoccupation with fairness started in the last 50 years or less.
At this point our obsession with white has gone into Movies, as well as in our social life. White dancers are in demand in Bollywood movies, and bartenders from Europe are very often sought out for work in pubs and bars in cities like Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi.
Recently, i came upon a video in Youtube where one man talked about how beauty and fair creams destroyed the self confidence of one generation of young men and women in India. I leave You with this clip. Thanks for Your attention.