I promised myself I would stay out of this until I read the article from TIME magazine. Now I just need to say something. And the only way I know to properly express my disgust and anger is through writing, so here goes. Disclaimer though: all of this is my opinion and my opinion alone. When reading the post below, please keep in mind that everyone is entitled to their opinion, I am not trying to stir things up, and I am not out to target any particular group of people. I’m just angry and I need my trusty written word as an outlet. So here goes.
I woke up this morning and the first thing I happened to read was this article from TIME magazine. Here’s the link: http://newsfeed.time.com/2013/09/19/miss-america-is-too-dark-to-be-miss-india/
I am an Indian Canadian who was born in India and moved to Canada at a very young age. Not so young though, that I don’t remember the culture and the traditions. I still retain those roots because I am proud of them, and I love a lot of things about the Indian culture. However, I have struggled to understand the Indian concept of ‘beauty’ my entire life. I mean the article pretty much says it all, but in a nutshell, you are more likely to be accepted into a family through marriage if you are fair-skinned. I mean a lot of families actually indicate that they want a fair-skinned individual for their son/daughter to marry (regardless of the color of their son/daughter’s skin by the way). For this reason, many darker-skinned Indians (particularly females) struggle against this discrimination all their lives.
It’s honestly the most uneducated, stupid and backward thing I’ve ever heard. Are you really telling me that marrying your kid off to a fairer individual will ensure a happier, more successful, problem-free marriage? Will your offspring’s spouse be less likely to cheat, or engage in physical abuse, or be a bad parent if he/she was fair in complexion?Did you know that fairer skinned people are at a higher risk for skin cancer? Have you noticed how many dark-skinned individuals have beautiful features and really good skin?
And as usual, people go further with this and start rejecting girls who ‘aren’t fair enough’ as well. There is apparently a made-up ‘scale’ out there in people’s heads which determines just how fair you need to be in order to be acceptable. I mean I’ve definitely been rejected for not being fair enough, which just makes me laugh. If you’ve seen me, you’d probably say I have a fair to wheatish complexion, depending on the season (I get really pale in the winter haha), so that’s just stupid. It just goes to show that there’s really no pleasing these people for the most part, and you shouldn’t want to either.
All I’m saying is that there is no BASIS for this kind of opinion. The worst part is that these people, with these ridiculous opinions, are supposedly ‘modern’ and forward-thinking in several other ways. It boggles my mind how someone can be all pro-same-sex marriage in America/Canada and celebrating Black History Month in full swing but is so discriminatory against their own race!
I think it is amazing that the Indian race has so many different skin tones within its own people. Instead of functioning as one race though, we are turning against each other and being ridiculous. I’m glad someone like Nina Davluri was chosen as Miss America – she’s definitely not what one would call a ‘traditional’ pick for the Miss India pageant – yet she won in a country that is way more powerful than India. Just a thought.
Having said that, I love my Indian roots. The traditions, customs and values are not what I am criticizing here. I’m expressing my frustration with the skin color thing, the caste system thing, the body type thing – all of these old world prejudices which need to be left behind with our ancestors who didn’t know any better.
This goes for everyone, not just Indians. I don’t even want to get started with all the Miss America hater comments that flooded Twitter and Facebook when she won. Those can’t even be taken seriously because of the sheer ignorance just dripping off those comments. Indians are Arabs? What? Did you ever look at an atlas in your entire life? Indians = Al Qaeda? Good God. Please tell me this bunch of uneducated ignoramus’s do not represent a large percentage of the global population. Because then we’d be in SO much trouble if we were ever attacked by aliens.