It’s no secret that Indian culture (my roots!) values whiteness — both whiteness in actual skin tone and in ideology, but here I’m going to talk about skin tone.
Colorism is alive and well, and practices like skin bleaching and avoiding the sun are all too common for many Indian people, women in particular.
Not surprisingly, growing up in a culture that consistently emphasizes the value of having lighter skin over darker skin gives rise to anti-brownness. We learn that brownness is bad, and that whiteness is good. We praise those who have lighter skin and fairer complexions and offer skin lightening solutions to those with darker skin. But most importantly, we learn to self-hate, which impacts our lives in countless ways. And this needs to stop!
In this video, I talk about why we must take a stand against colorism in our communities. It’s time to embrace the many beautiful shades of brown that we have in our midst – especially the darker ones.