• Fabida, a lovely post. I am of a darker complexion and so is my elder son. My husband is fair skinned. My younger son has got his dad’s complexion. I can’t tell you how many barbs my elder son faced. But as you pointed out, it is always at home. We have the power to make them confident and to make them understand how beautiful they are. My son is much more confident of his looks and is very handsome as well. Yet there are stray times when he hears “kaala” and I am proud to say, he does not get affected!

    • Fab

      Kudos to you!!! It is quite a task to make a dark skinned child grow up without any self esteem issues in our country, doesn’t matter where you live!!! Sometimes I wish there were books tailor made for Indian children which promoted positive attitudes like respect despite differences 🙂

      • Children reflect their parent’s thinking as well as that of media exposure. Unfortunately both are extremely negative in India.

  • Roshni

    It’s just insane how this issue is still discussed, not just amongst the household help but also within so-called educated people! I get so irritated to see SRK and Sonam Kapoor feature in ads for fairness creams! Have they no shame or civic responsibility?!! It’s about time this issue of fairness dies a quick death now!

    • Roshni

      I love the Franklin Thomas quote….so apt!

      • Fab

        I couldn’t agree more!! All the celebrities endorsing fairness creams are already highly paid movie stars or cricketers – do they really need to earn more by propagating such a disgusting idea within the Indian mindset?? Most of India’s social evils know no educational or economic barriers – it’s everywhere.

  • Seriously this fairness obsession needs to take a break. My daughter is fairer as compared to me & hubby. The weirdest thing I heard after her birth from one of my relatives that ” Good that she is fair…..now you do not have to struggle to find a groom for her”. Gosh my baby was few days old that time!!
    You mentioned so correctly that change needs to be started at home.

    • Fab

      I suppose this whole ‘burden of getting my daughter married’ is the root cause of many evils. Parents fear that and kill of their baby girls before being born, they control their daughters’ clothes, hobbies and freedom to control their ‘reputation’, and then they try to whitewash their dark girls so that they can satisfy the superficial desires of potential in laws. When will people realize that girls aren’t being born to get married and serve their husbands?? That they are their own people with their own lives? Ugh!

  • Absolutely loved the post! I have one child who is fair skinned and the other who is not so. Most of the time I am fighting off potential comments against or for either one of them! Very sad state of affairs indeed, Fabida, and you’ve captured it beautifully!!

    • Fab

      Thank you, Meena!!! I know the difficulties of having a dark skinned child, but having siblings with different complexions must be a whole different scenario! Kudos to you for handling it well – may your tribe increase!!

  • This topic needs attention and you have brought it out really well..
    The bias starts from home and why do we really have to bring looks and complexion among our conversations… But the truth is we all get attracted to anything that looks good.. however this habit should be kept to materialistic things and no where else.

    • Fab

      I think the idea of what ‘looks good’ is subject to a variety of factors. Indians consider fair skin, large eyes and long hair to be good looking – features that aren’t as important in other cultures. But whatever that may be, it definitely doesn’t need to be given undue importance at the expense of character, personality and kind heartedness. You’re right – the bias does start at home, and that is also where the cure should begin!!