Beauty in India is “fair” skin deep

The actual thought process of the society is shared in the form of comments and posts on social media. It is common in our country to associate fair skin with being great.

Beauty in India is “fair” skin deep

(Getty Images)

Obsession of us Indians with fair skin is evident from the way we judge beauty. We have remained regressive as a society when it comes to skin colour. Social media is a living proof of this phenomenon.

Have you ever come across a picture of a random newly-married couple with the groom having darker complexion and the bride fair? What is the most common comment you would find below the picture? Hint: “sarkari naukri”! Yes, you guessed it right.

The actual thought process of society is shared in the form of comments and posts on social media. It is common in our country to associate fair skin with beauty. So, if a dark-skinned guy gets married to a fair-skinned girl, it is an achievement and a proof of his professional feat. 


Ironically, most of the Indians are dark skinned, yet it’s the skin colour that determines the natural factors of the place where we are born. The Indian subcontinent has mostly tropical conditions and thus we have that skin tone. So what? Is it something to be ashamed of? And if a few of us have a lighter skin complexion because of their inherited genes. Does it make them special?

A big NO to both!

But, it seems like a long road ahead for us as a society when we overcome the stereotypes associated with skin tone. 

White is supreme

Several writers and thinkers have written on the subject and the social problem still remains. It is a well-known fact that Indians are obsessed with the lighter skin tone. Maybe it is traced back to the era when European powers like the British, French and Portuguese ruled different parts of India. Not only that, most of the foreign invaders that came to India had a lighter skin tone. White complexion is associated with supremacy and ruler, and it has been passed down through generations like that. 

If you are fair, you must be rich

Another common belief that floats around the Indian society is that white skinned people belong to well-off families. Don’t believe us? Try it yourself. If you have a fair complexion and you are not financially stable, try explaining it to people. Most of the people would not believe you and they would take it as a bluff. Fair skin and poverty doesn’t go down well with people. 

A bride is always fair

That’s another common belief in India. Just have a look at the matrimonial advertisements in the newspaper and online sites. The very first thing demanded from the bride is that “she must be fair”. Girls who are not fair, often apply heavy bridal make-up so as to look fair on the wedding day. The before and after images of such incidents have often gone viral on social media. This is the level of mental sickness we are suffering as a society. 

No dark-skinned movie actresses

Another proof of our obsession with fair skin is the fact that we have never had a dark-skinned movie actress who has been famous. Does this mean that Indians have not accepted their own kind or does it mean that darker skin is not considered to be beautiful.

Indians are overly obsessed with the lighter skin tones and it is a cause of abuse of several women and girls in the country. Dark-skinned females are smothered by members of the society, sometimes their own family. Some cases come forth, while most are suppressed and never see the light of the day. In the debate about development and surpassing other global powers, this is the topic that needs the most attention.