Is Beauty Skin Deep?
It’s not hard to understand why a woman would want to be beautiful, but what continues to amaze me is that there is no set standard for what “beautiful” looks like.
My friend Sarah was in China last year and saw rows of bleaching creams in the make-up aisles. When she asked what they were for her friend pointed out that in China women want their skin to be as pale as possible, because pale skin is considered beautiful. When Sarah tried to explain that in North America women go to tanning salons to make their skin darker her Chinese friend refused to believe it. She could not wrap her head around the idea of darker, tanned skin being beautiful.
International Women’s Day is March 8th. As part of the celebrations there is a campaign going on in Chennai, India promoting the idea that Dark is Beautiful. The campaign “seeks to draw attention to the toxic effects of skin colour bias and also celebrates the beauty and diversity of all skin tones.”
“As we have interacted with thousands of women,” says WOW founder Kavita Emmanuel, “many have shared how they’ve felt that their beauty and worth were judged by the fairness of their skin. It’s still going on today in India. And it’s not just women—men also face stereotypes in this area. It can have such a toxic effect on self-esteem.”
It amazes me that it’s not just a question of white skin or dark skin, it’s in the shades as well. And it’s not just happening in India. Bi-racial American actor Shemar Moore has said in interviews that he got comments growing up about “not being black enough”. Instead of worrying about not being white enough or not being black enough can’t we just get comfortable in our own skin?
Does your skin color affect the way you feel about yourself? Have you ever been treated differently – either better or worse – because of it?