Dear India Currents,
On skin color…
I am not an apologist for the Indians’ penchant for fair skin. I merely want to say that different nations/ethnic groups have different criteria for beauty/handsomeness, mostly illogical. Why is a taller man considered more handsome than a shorter one or a 36-24-36 an exquisite figure for a woman?
Another thing to clarify: in India, unlike in Latin America or among African Americans, skin color is not indicative of racial parentage. Such prejudices hardly exist in India in the workplace, where your work is valued much more than your ‘beauty’. The preference for fair brides is a throwback from an earlier era, when girls were married off in their early teens and arranged marriages were the overwhelming norm. The girls were too young to be distinguished by their education and their physique and features had not stabilized yet – skin color was a more definitive characteristic. This prejudice will slowly disappear as women become more educated and more assertive and have a lot more to show than their skin color. But prejudices die hard.
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