RACISM IN THE FORM OF COLORISM

Our country has a history of being ruled by the whites, i.e. the Portuguese, the Dutch and French traders, the Mughals, the British. They were relatively fairer than the rest of the Indian population. This succession by the white people left behind the desperate desire of looking fair. Indians felt that only the light skin people can attain power, dignity and respect as they were the master race. The racial prejudice in our country has taken the form of colorism. The basic definition of colorism means that differentiating or classification of a person from another on the basis of the skin tone or complexion. Discrimination against the members of the same race due to their dark skin complexion is called colorism. The black people are generally considered of a lower status and they are included in the lowest strata of the society while the fair is considered the noble and intellectual. In our Indian society, the complexion of a person is given a lot of importance, fair people are believed to have positive impacts and the dark has negative impacts. This is how the stereotypical mindsets of the Indians work. The black is now hated upon, it is highly condemned by the people worldwide. 

Racism and colorism are very closely related to each other. People with a lighter skin tone were considered as a rich of an upper-caste while people with a dusky skin tone is considered as a poor of a lower caste. Due to the color discrimination, the black people face problems all over the world. It brings down their morale, enthusiasm, self-efficiency to a great extent. They fear the world outside, the voices of the black people go unheard. They do not receive the right amount of appreciation, instead they face constant hatred and are subjected to brutality. The black people face harassment be it in either a physical or virtual form on any online platform. They are bullied not only on the basis of their color, but also on the basis of the structure of their lips or any facial attribute. The black color is the least preferred color in the entire human race. They are denied access to educational institutions, workplace or employment services, social services etc. There is no system which would act as a protection shield against the brutal and the inhumane bullying. The crime rate against the black has evidently increased, but people choose to be silent about it. If the same crime had been done to a white, then the public and the law would have done their best to win justice.

The social media and the advertising agency contribute to a great extent in favoring the notion of colorism. It is well known that the people would prefer a lighter skin tone than a deeper one and they would try their level best to reduce the tone of their skin color using any artificial means. People tend to follow the social media, their role models and hence in a despair to look fair. There are numerous cosmetic brands and skin lightening industries which came up as a solution to their consumer’s needs. In 1975, the “Fair and Lovely” cream was launched by Hindustan Unilever. This brand added a lot to the theory of colorism. It had become an indispensable requirement in the life of the young girls. It denoted that the deep complexion was not acceptable by the society anymore and how the dark people prove to be a disappointment. Only the fair people could achieve success and lead a happy life. Such fairness cream commercials promote the concept that how fairness is the only means of achieving success, dignity, honor and respect. Such products created an obstacle in the society by differentiating people on their skin tone. There was no actual appreciation of the natural beauty and color anymore. It led to the formation of biasness on the preference on the skin tone and color. Colorism really brings down the level of self-esteem and confidence in life of the people which in turn creates a confined status. 

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