Definitely not an individual’s fault!
As a part of society, we should take collective responsibility for how embarrassingly we’ve been defining ‘beauty.’
Below is a piece of a conversation I recently had with a young girl from India. And this screenshot is shared with her permission, as this speaks volumes about our deep-rooted beauty beliefs. She is 22, beautiful and charming. However, she keeps reminding herself that the slightly dark skin tone she has, makes her ‘ugly.’ She didn’t think this way in the first place. It’s that nobody told her that she’s beautiful. Instead, directly, indirectly, she is told that dark skin symbolizes not being beautiful. It’s that all her life, she’s seen urban people and celebs on the internet who are posting ‘fair looking’ pictures layered with excess light, filters, makeup, and what not!
We see there have been instances that are breaking stereotypes against so-called beauty standards. But… we might take centuries or more than that to change perceptions of girls like this from remote areas.
Forget about remote areas; most of us are privileged in terms of so many things… no one doesn’t take a dozen selfies and spend half an hour choosing which one should make it to social media. We follow public personalities for their tempting pictures, pictures that are prepared by the effort of at least a 10-people team. The reason behind 1 billion users of Instagram and half a billion users of Snapchat is the photo filters they have.
I so easily said to her in the conversation, why do you feel like that or don’t think like that.
I know it’s easy to react, but it takes a whole life to understand not to feel or think that way. It took me years to convince myself that white skin doesn’t define beauty and brown skin is not a symbol of dull-look. I also grew up watching Fair and Lovely ads. Hundreds of times, I saw people near me passing comments about a random person saying, ‘see that dark girl, she’s so ugly’…
I might take the rest of my life to replace what is being stuffed in my memory and replace it with what we really need to perceive.
You can read more of my views on Quora regarding issues that matter. Click here – https://www.quora.com/profile/Leena-Duwadi