Most Indians (North, South, West or East) see being fair as being beautiful, and it’s common to see a light skinned person being described as good looking – sometimes even if they don’t fit into conventional standards of beauty.
But what’s unfortunate is when a reasonably good looking, dark skinned woman describes herself as ugly, and actually believes it. This can become a self fulfilling prophecy because confidence is generally attractive (no matter what we are traditionally taught about being self effacing). Lack of confidence can be unattractive. An inferiority complex can make one bitter and resentful too. (Not attractive).
And yet how does one feel confident about how one looks when one is constantly being reminded (not necessarily directly) that one doesn’t fit into the standard definitions of beauty? After all beauty is supposed to lie in the eyes of the beholder?
Indian girls risk their health to avoid skin darkening. Wholesome sports and outdoor activities are seen as ‘bad for skin’. How is this obsession with fairness any different from corsets, feet binding, elongated earlobes, and ‘you can never be too rich or too thin‘ /‘nothing tastes as good as skinny feels’?
One hears about accepting and loving oneself the way one is – but how does one do that in a world so obsessed with how one looks on the outside and its standardized yardsticks of what is beautiful?
Should self acceptance depend upon how intelligent or how kind or how qualified one is? Because then that becomes another restriction. How does it matter how fast you run or how well-read you are? Acceptance would be being comfortable in one’s skin – no matter how thin, fat, dark, fair, tall, short, rich, poor, popular, or ‘ordinary’ one is.
Did you ever eat more or less, not because it affected your health, but because it affected how you looked and how the world saw you? I have blogged about this before – what would you have done or not done – and how would your life, health, happiness,confidence level been different if being beautiful (in the eyes of the world) was not as much of a concern?
Do you think that darker skins or thinness make a bigger difference to how a person looks than their attitude?
Do you know women who are not thin and/or not fair and look good? And finally, can the world like us if we do not like ourselves?