Our Indian society has been obsessed with “chittiyan kalaiyaan” aka fair skin since forever. From uncles commenting on how darker skin tone wouldn’t help in marriage, to aunties suggesting ubtan, haldi, doodh-dahi and what-not, the mindset about darker skin being disadvantage is fixed.
This Reddit thread sheds light on this dark side of the Indian society that is no secret to anyone.
1. My relatives have always pointed out how my skin is darker than my brother’s. They used to casually call me kaali kalooti as if it’s a joke. I’ve always received the so-called “compliments” that I would’ve look good if I was fairer as, I’ve got such good facial features.
2. My younger sister says that I look ugly because I am dark skinned. My mother also used to say that dark skinned people look ugly. When my mom is angry, she sometimes taunts me and says, “nahata dhota nahi hai kitna kaala lagta hai.“
3. I’m from North India, and people here, including my own friends, are heavily racist and colourist. I’m a 17 year old boy and have a dark skin tone. Now I am so used to these “insults” about my skin colour. They annoy me but rarely bother me.
4. My dadi always makes fun of my brother’s complexion and says, “Jab uparwala khoobsurti baant raha tha tab tu kaha reh gaya“. My dad said, “Samajhdaari wale line mein laga hoga“, while calling him ugly and me dumb at the same time.
5. I never had any friends in school: they all used to call me kaali mata, and would run to wash their hands if they touched mine. My uncle once said when I was showing a new outfit to my family, “It would have looked better if she was fairer”. These are just a few examples, but I always felt unwanted and less than others.
6. India is one of the most casual racist places ever. Every uncle and aunty keeps commenting on how your skin looks like.
7. Indians give so much importance to skin colour. Have you seen the advertisements that say gulabi rang? Skin lightening is a multi-million dollar industry in India.
8. It is, indeed, a curse to be anything that deviates from the beauty standards upheld by Indians. People won’t shut up easily about these things.
9. My complexion too is on the darker side. I hear about remedies on getting fairer, like using multani mitti, haldi, milk, lemon, baking soda, bleaching, and what not. I’m also shorter and hear people telling me about how I can grow taller. I wear glasses and people tell me what exercises I should do and what foods I can eat to get rid of spectacles. I honestly am fed up of these advices. I hate to say that this regressive mindset is literally inculcated in our society.
10. I’m a guy and I’d get this a lot when I was in school too. A lot of times I wished I wasn’t dark skinned, asked myself why I turned out to be dark.
When will we get over this regressive, blatant colourist mindset?