As Indians, at some point or the other, we’ve all witnessed family members or close loved ones discuss a “concern” that is all too familiar; how to be light-skinned. And why go so far as to talk about others, haven’t we all dealt with the pressure of wanting to look a little whiter and brighter?
In the post, u/Ill_Spend8676 talked about seeing his cousin’s pregnant wife being offered coconut water by other family members. And how he initially thought that it was for her health, but later, and regrettably so, found out that it was so she would give birth to a light-skinned baby.
So of course, many desis came forward to talk about similar situations they’ve been in or seen. And, I wish I came across as more surprised or offended, but growing up in a culture that is knee-deep in something as toxic as colourism leaves very little room for that. Read on to see how others responded to the distasteful cultural norm.
1. Do your relatives know about the existence of Kerala? We consume so much coconut and I don’t see us looking Swedish as babies.
2. Ooh, i just thought it was because coconut water is healthy and will be good for the mother and the baby, wasn’t aware of this.
3. Coconut water won’t work, try bleach.
4. I was in the US and there was a colleague whose wife used to bathe her daughter with milk (weekly) as she was dark-skinned. I mean, the entire family (dad and mom) were dark-skinned. They were Telugu, this is important to say as they only said that they have a dowry system and if her girl becomes fairer, she will have to pay less dowry.
5. This mentality is ingrained in our society. I am from Punjab where the average skin color is fairer than the normal Indian and it is a legit issue if someone has a dusky skin tone. My cousin, for example, has a darker complexion and his parents were convinced they wouldn’t be able to find a girl for him. At the age of 23, they found a girl who is very fair and decided to get them married ASAP. They were in such a hurry that they ignored the bride’s family’s request to wait a few months as her father had passed away merely 4 months before their engagement! His parents were so scared of the bride’s family breaking things off that they got them married 1 month after their engagement. Sad state of affairs in our country.
6. If this was bad, you should check out videos on YouTube on baby fairness home remedies. They won’t even leave toddlers alone. They will find you and they will make you white.
7. Ahh unlocked memories of my chachi bragging about how my sister was dark when she was born and she “cleaned” her by bathing her rigorously.
8. Same thing when my wife was pregnant. She was asked to drink kesar milk.
9. My mom was made to eat a lot of tomatoes for the same reason. I was born so red that everyone thought I had some kind of skin disease.
10. A close relative of mine scrubs her kids daily while bathing them in the hope that they will become fair one day.
11. Coconut water is supposed to help with the nausea associated with pregnancy. I have never heard of it affecting the child’s complexion.
12. Yep, I was asked not to drink coffee or any dark drinks by a friend (who is dark-skinned) so my baby would be fair. Thankfully my family did not say anything like that.
13. I can only laugh at how stupid this is.
Why are we still trying to be whiter? It’s more than okay, actually, it’s beautiful to be melanated.