The media, movies and billboards glorify glamorous and beautiful women. The perception of physical beauty has been ingrained in our minds and it is difficult to change our mindset.
Fair-skinned women have and will always be preferred, though they say that black is beautiful. Fair-skinned film stars have always been fashion trendsetters for young girls and women.
Therefore, many young girls buy creams and lotions to make themselves fairer. This has caused an overwhelming demand for whitening creams that have ingredients that bleach the skin to make it fairer.
The obsession with being beautiful and fair-skinned cuts across gender of every age, culture and academic background, and has forced many to visit bogus beauty parlours, which has resulted in irreversible damage to their skin and beauty.
Some want to be fair to not be left out of the rat race and to be accepted by friends. People want to look good because it makes them feel good and makes them confident.
We have heard of the adage “beauty is only skin deep”. Judging people by their physical appearances can be misleading. It can lead to disappointments and surprises.
You may encounter a stunning fair-skinned woman and draw a number of conclusions about the person she is. But, upon getting to know her, you may discover that her negative qualities are so dominant that they overshadow her physical appearance.
There is more to people than physical beauty. We must look past physical beauty and see how beautiful a person is inside.
First impressions at interviews can be deceiving. Studies have shown that there is little correlation between good looks and good performance.
Physical beauty is superficial and is not as important as a person’s character, intellectual, emotional, social and spiritual qualities.
Parents have to teach children to accept the colour of their skin and how they look. Children need to love themselves for who they are.
And, hopefully, society will embrace Martin Luther King’s dream: “I have a dream that one day my children will live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin, but by the substance of their character.”
Among Indians, colour is a big issue, because there are fair- and dark-skinned Indians. Fair-skinned Indian boys and girls are highly sought after in relationships and marriages.
The Tamil film song, Karuppu than Ennakku Pudicha Colour (Black is my favourite colour), has inspired those who are not fair-skinned and put everything in perspective on colour obsession among Indians. Not being fair is neither a sin nor a curse.
Denzel Washington (Hollywood actor), Eddie Murphy (Hollywood actor), Halle Berry (Hollywood actress) Naomi Campbell (British model), Tamil actor Rajini Kanth and the most powerful man in the world, United States Presid ent Barack Obama, are not fair-skinned.
Michael Jackson’s Black Or White song says it all: “It don’t matter if you are black or white.”
What matters is that you develop your character and soft skills — irrespective of whether you are short, fat, ugly or black — and you will stand tall among the rest. Samuel Yesua NST Opinion Letters 8 JANUARY 2017 @ 11:56 AM