Well, I have been having a very busy schedule off late. Evenings have been the most pleasant. I spend time with Shankar who usually spends the early evening relaxing and watching some TV shows, and this time it extended a little longer, as we watched the crowning of Miss America.
Crowning of Miss America is an yearly ritual, so what is the big deal this year!?
First of all, Congratulations Miss. Nina Davuluri. You were so graceful on stage, and your answer responding to the question on plastic surgery was intelligent and quick. I enjoyed your emotions as you were being crowned; pretty in the yellow dress.
I am shocked at the way Americans reacted to crowning an Asian American as Miss America. Twitter instantly flooded with hate messages on the judgement made. A woman of Indian origin crowned Miss America?! People seemed alarmed and some of them were boasting of how diverse America is. But isn’t every American citizen today, originally an immigrant? Wasn’t the country established with immigrants moving in from all over the world? One youtube video that caught my attention and also widely circulated in all the social media sites is :
I am sure Nina is setting a good example for a lot of women in India. While campaigns like ‘Dark is Beautiful’ (Ms. Nandita Das) have been telling or trying to teach Indians, that being ‘fair’ is not so important, Nina has set a great example. Back in India, she would have had almost zero chances of surviving the Miss India contest. The obsession for ‘fair’ skin as they call it, is in the roots of Indian culture.
Be it south India or the north, ‘fair’ness meter judges women before anything else. There are just a few Indian film actresses, who have survived in spite of being ‘dark’. And this is because of even parents making sure you don’t get darker while playing out in the open under the hot sun. Marriage proposals – ask anywhere in India, people look for fair skinned women first. ‘Is she fair?’ – is the first question from most Indian bridegrooms’ parents. Come on! Grow up everyone!
As for Nina, she is dark, but her features and physiognomy are attractive enough. I am sure there is at least a fraction of Indians who will say, ‘Ahh! she is dark!’ with a hateful tone. I don’t even want to get started with the ‘Madrasi’ discrimination that has been in hot discussion off late in so many blogs and social media platforms.
And it doesn’t stop there! ‘Fairness creams’ are a big hit in India. Top Actors and Actresses are spokespeople for fairness creams (believe me! 😉 – they promise to make you fair ) . The obsession for fair skin is far beyond boundaries to be corrected today. I was brought up in a convent that rooted the fact that ‘complexion is not what decides who you are!’ and I am thankful for being brought up in such an environment. But even that strong will is sure to be taken for a ride at least once when you are surrounded by people are biased about skin color.
I can keep writing all day, because this is a subject very close to my heart, but it has all been discussed everywhere in the internet.
To all the dark women out there, let your ‘fairness’ not decide who you are! You are educated enough to understand that appearances do not matter, but who you are as a person and what you achieve are the ones that do!