When we were kids reading fairy tales of beautiful princesses & princes, we were taught “fairer the prettier”. Were we born with the idea that lighter complexion defines feminine beauty? No! It was carefully planted in our subconscious to believe that it's true. This is not just a concern in a South East Asian country like Sri Lanka, it is a global phenomenon addressed by many influencers based on its impact on criminal justice, business, economy, household, media, healthcare, politics & cinema
If you have a fairly darker skin than your friends, weren't you ever discriminated against at school by your teachers who always prefer light skin skinned friends to take the leading role in a play or in the center of the stage in a dancing competition or a choir? Haven't you ever been discriminated against by people of same race, same religion, same community or same family based on the percentage of melanin your skin contains?
The belief that “someone with any degree of lighter complexion is considered more beautiful or valuable than someone with dark skin” has been making fairness cream companies in the world multi millionaires, who advertise day & night that “ you can get everything you want in life if you were a bit more fairer”. Yet second to the influence Sri Lankan aunties have on girls they meet anywhere & everywhere. According to them having a bit more darker skin & minor skin abnormalities are nothing but great sins to be punished by god. Those are mentalities we can't even attempt to change in this life. Which makes us wonder what we can really do about it.
The single most predominant step we all can take to eradicate colorism & control its impact is by creating awareness & educating our kids. If you still teach your kids that white skinned princess in their stories is the most beautiful princess in the world, it’s time we add this part. “she is beautiful just as beautiful as the princess with a darker skin”. One shall not be proud of their light skin nor ashamed of their tan.
Self care, self love & keeping your skin healthy is much more important than applying harmful chemicals day & night to impress a set of ill minded people around you. And if you yourself feel & live with the misconception that you are any less beautiful than your friend just cause you wear the tan your mom gave you, let me quote Bruno Mars , “Girl, you are amazing, just the way you are”.
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