WEEKLY DEBATE RESPONSE : Does Fairness Obsession Amount to a New Kind of Racism?


The last week The New Leam generated a debate ‘Does Fairness Obsession Amount to a New Kind of Racism’, where the motive was to get our readers to discuss and debate matters of collective concern such as gender, culture,media, politics or themes from other fields.

We received many responses from our readers and here we are publishing one of them that is perceptive and imaginative.

Shehnaz currently working with Bachpan Banao NGO in Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh.

Long back ago I was reading a news which was about some foreign nation. The news was about a woman who was suffering from a very strange disease and no one was able to figure out the cause of the disease. Later, after much research by her doctors they could figure out that the lady was using a fairness cream and the ingredients used in that particular cream were the cause of her disease.

The above example shows how much we are obsessed with skin color. If you look at matrimonial advertisements you will clearly see that fairness is a must component of these advertisements. The skin color that one has depends more on geographical conditions and it is because of a pigment in our skin called melanin.

Any efforts to change this can’t do anything. But since society gives too much emphasis on skin color people spend a lot of money to improve their complexion. I have seen many mothers applying turmeric paste on their baby girl’s skin so that she could become fair. I do remember an advertisement of Fair and Lovely cream whose tagline was, ‘Sundarta hai Shakti.’ We should take a collective effort to oppose these kinds of advertisements.

I feel that celebrities who are endorsing these ideas of fairness should not propagate them as a large section of the masses follow them and believe their words as true. I believe that emphasizing the importance of internal qualities over skin color and smartness is very crucial and its the need of the hour.

We should discuss this issue with students in schools and both girls and boys should be part of the discussion. Also we as individuals can be the change. We have to change our mentality and this should be reflected in our actions too.  Only then change can come. Every individual matters.


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