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“Dark is Divine” Voice of the Victims of Colorism

By Fatima Lodhi (anti-colorism Advocate)


If you are not “Fair-skinned” Then you are surely not be considered appealing or presentable to anyone, your confidence level must be zero and you can never become successful in life because “Fair skin” is an asset, a key to success and happiness! These are some of the discriminatory messages conveyed to the darker skin tones through fairness advertisements – Fatima Lodhi (anti-colorism Advocate)

Oct 14, 2014: Colorism is the worst form of discrimination and occurs where lighter skin tones are preferred, and darker skin tones are considered to be less desirable. And this discrimination is found between people belonging to the same race.

Asian countries like Pakistan, Philippines, Taiwan and India, have been practicing Colorism since decades. In Asia, the lives of the people with dark complexion especially girls have been far worsened due to the attitudes of people. Women with dark complexion face many issues in this society which doesn't consider dark skin equals to white and believes in different beautifying products that promises to make you white overnight. Even small Kids are told by their elders not to play in the Sun; else their skins would turn dark.  It’s shocking to see the role of media in molding a society that discriminates the women with darker skin tones. The fairness advertisements are shown day and night on every single TV channel and have a huge psychological effect on the Persons with dark complexion. These advertisements are trying to portray an image that this society only accepts those who are fair skinned and the dark ones are the loners. Above all the attitudes of people make their lives miserable. Even the film industry and Drama industry cast the people with dark skin tones for small and less important roles and also the financial and social status of a person is shown based on the color of their skins, giving high social and financial status roles to those with lighter skin tones.

Why being dark-skinned is an oddity? Why can’t this society allow the dark people to become comfortable in their own skins? How can we even imagine finding flaws or making fun of someone created by God Almighty?

The people with darker skin tones, especially women applying for front desk jobs, such as receptionists, air hostesses, TV anchors and etc. are told that they are not competent for such jobs!
And even if they are selected for such jobs they are asked to cover their faces with tons of makeup so that their dark complexion is not prominent.

The “Fairness craze” is increasing day by day. Girls and now boys as well are responding to the global discrimination known as colorism, by bleaching their skins, using fairness techniques such as laser treatments and high dose of Vitamins injection which are cancerous for the Asian skins and also lead to kidneys failure.

Since decades, fair color is considered an ambassador of Beauty. This perception has created social inequality and inferiority complexes amongst the darker skins.

Well it’s not our fault, it’s just the way we have been brought up and taught at schools. Even in Kindergarten whenever a child is asked to draw a face and color it, the teacher always gives them a peach crayon (named as skin color crayon) to color the face and never a darker shade like brown or black. This is the first stage when a child develops a thought that the only color that exists is white (peach).

We have been listening to stories like snow white and Cinderella from our grandparents and other Fairy tales in which the princesses are always white-skinned. These Fairy tales were always a discrimination against the darker skin tones. What to talk of those mothers who are always in search of snow white daughter-in-laws for their sons and rejecting those with dark skins.

These kind of discriminations pushed Fatima to start an anti-colorism campaign to give confidence to those who have become victims of their own skins!

“Dark is Divine” an anti-colorism campaign started in October 2013 by Fatima Lodhi is a movement designed to ignite a conversation by, for and about persons with dark complexion to effect positive change in the way dark people are reflected in Asian societies and in a broader sense Asian culture. 

“Dark is Divine” encourages men and women to characterize and promote a beauty standard that is a genuine reflection of their spirit.

It also aims to rid the society of discriminatory mindsets and to prove that respect for all is important. We need to break down the so called beauty standards and work for a society that is inclusive and accommodating.
Fatima Lodhi believes that “Dark Is Divine” will help redefine the connotation of word “Dark” and will bring sea change in the thinking and the psyche of the general population of Asia as a whole with regard to Colorism. So that there’s no discrimination in times to come.

For more information about the "Dark is Divine" campaign visit the Facebook page.