#ProudofMyColor – The Fairness Myth


It feels really good to see such a topic trending on twitter today – Proudofmycolor – Such a nice thing to say and actually embody it.

I believe there is something absolutely fantastic about the different achievements people make in life. It is those times, we start looking beyond how people look, how fair they are or how beautifully ornate their nose is and what not. It is those times, when people are appreciated for what they have done.

I do not completely agree to the philosophy that a person is just about their achievements. But it is certainly a good start to look beyond the colour of skin or the shape of our faces. It is about people, their actions and the results of their action. That certainly goes a longer way.

Proudofmycolour, fairness myth, fairness creams, social responsibility, dark skin

Go Girls

This Olympics for India has brought out a lot of different perspectives. Social media has been abuzz with the “Go Girls” campaign considering that most of the achievements this year has been by the ladies who have brought some medals and amazing memories back home. For a country which was at one point dominated by the ‘Malevolent Males’ (Pun intended), it certainly is a fresh breeze. These ads boldly talked about how women have done such a commendable job at the olympics, sometimes to an extent demeaning the effort of the men in sports. I shall consciously try avoid going there for the sake of this discussion. I am simply amazed at what these women have achieved, I can only imagine how tough training for these competitions are. And being one of the top achievers in the world is something incredible indeed. Kudos to them.

Airs of Superiority

This #proudofmycolor reminds me of another post which I had written. We had talked in length about how we might respond if we were ruled by darker skinned people – maybe we would have had an aspirational value for the darker skin. So, does the fairness myth arise from the people who ruled India? The rationale for me is because all of our texts around the 10th century talk about either Tall, Dark and Handsome or Dark, beautiful woman. There is very little reference if any to the fairness of these people, how light the colour of their skin was and what not. That makes me wonder if the idea of fairness is a myth propagated by a few people so that it would help their business – AKA fairness creams!

Dissociation from Colour

Proudofmycolor is a beautiful hashtag which runs today as I think – what would happen if I were to dissociate the colour I am from the definition of who I am. I know it is wrong to remove something so integral from a base definition, but for the sake of argument, let us say that I were able to do that. What would be the definition of who I am?

The answer for me obviously comes to “Values”, the things I stand for, the people I know, the impact I create and the love I can spread. How I look, what I wear doesn’t even come close to the equation. Well, yeah those are important because the fairness cream companies and the clothing companies have left an indelible reference that “How you look sells”. Maybe it does, but then when you say Proudofmycolor today, just think about this – Can it bring a different line of thought to who you think you are?

Can it inspire you to look at an elevated definition of yourself – One you can be absolutely proud of?

If you can, then I would consider this post as an immense success. We cannot set ourselves free unless we are #proudofmycolor and look beyond the smaller things in life to the bigger ones that really matter!

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