Fair Skin Bias?
Hamza Iqbal Chughtai
“It starts when children are young: the moment a child is born, relatives start comparing siblings’ skin color. It starts in your own family, but people don’t want to talk about it openly.”
Our culture and society have a strange obsession with fair skin. How else would you explain not only girls, but even boys using fairness creams, whitening face wash, and night creams? Most of the women want to use whitening products as they are aspirational, just like losing weight. However, now men have also joined the bandwagon to become fair and handsome. We don’t even notice this issue of colorism because it is so deeply endorsed in our society. Around the world, people are saying that black lives matter, but at the same time, they are promoting whitening products so we don’t look black; hypocrisy at its best! You can’t deny the fact that fair-skinned people get special treatment wherever they go, whereas dark-skinned people always feel like they are not good enough, and they need their skin to become fair. This is called fair skin bias, and it does exist.
We have created such a hostile environment where people don’t feel safe in their natural skin. This bias can easily destroy someone’s self-esteem. There are tons of stories of young people, even children, saying how they are nicknamed and teased for their skin color, which results in creating an inferiority complex. Advertising fair-skin beauty products in, degrading dark-skinned people in movies, and portraying dark-skinned people as weak, poor, criminals, and low self-esteemed all promote colorism and fair skin bias. I would say that this is not bias; indeed, this is rather racism.
People say it is our colonial past in which white British rulers were seen as powerful, and people started to idealize them. They claim that this is where our obsession with fair skin started. However, no matter what the reason is, we can’t just blame our colonial past, our media, and industry for endorsing such bias because we all are promoting this bias in some form and shape.
Skin color, whether fair or dark, does not represent beauty. We need to let go of this toxic belief that our skin color matters. The way you naturally look is how you are supposed to look. Be proud and confident about yourself. You are beautiful no matter what the beauty standards dictate. Create your own standards.