Thursday, 13 June, 2024

Stereotype On Beauty

Bini Dahal

Asia is obsessed with fair skin. No one will deny that. Just switch on a TV, you will see numerous ads of beauty products like “Fair and Lovely”. These advertisements use fair skinned models as their mascot just to depict how applying the product can help people from both genders achieve fair and glowing skin naturally. Undeniably, this marketing strategy has caused products to be sold out in heaps.
While trying to figure out the reason behind the Asian people’s passion for fair skin, researchers have found out the British colonisation to be one of the factors behind all of this (South Asian region in particular) while in East Asia, pale skin signified social prestige. Britons with light skin were considered superior in comparison to the dark-skinned people who were forced to become slaves in their own land. Though that colonisation ended a long time ago, its effect on people’s mentality is still the same. They want to get a fair skin because for them white symbolises beauty. So, it is obvious that beauty product brands are utilising marketing schemes to target the same group of people who are in want of fair skin.
Look around and spot a girl or a boy who you feel is good-looking. Now analyse their skin tone and it will not even take a second for you to recognise that you may be following the principle of “colourism”. It is because we have grown up in our society. From a very small age, we were indirectly taught about colour differences. And very less people have been free from this stereotype.
I myself sometimes think that I am unhappy with my own skin tone. Because my skin tone is darker, I have faced discrimination many times. Maybe this discrimination has caused me to feel insecure about my own skin colour. Let’s take an example of clicking a selfie or a portrait photograph of ourselves. Most of the time, we are not very satisfied with the photo taken and tend to click it again and again up until we feel satisfied.
Just to gain this kind of satisfaction from our photograph, we switch normal cameras to filtered one. Because our mind is preoccupied with the thought of what other people may talk about us. Nowadays, there are many applications found on our smart phones which are used solely to hide any blemishes and most importantly to brighten up the skin by lightening it up. And one of these applications is Snapchat whose very popular “beautifying filter” fully promotes lighter skin and makes people unable to recognise their own face.
What we fail to understand is that there is no superiority between skin colours. We must boycott this kind of “racist” thinking. We have received this skin type from the nature. Defying the nature’s rule by either bleaching skin or using lighting agents is not the solution. Rather we need to speak up against such kind of difference. To speak up might also mean putting a ban on some of the many advertisements that imply beauty to fair skin. Only in this way can people gain the confidence to move forward. Only then the maxim by poet Thomas Overbury “beauty is only skin deep” may prove to be true.