Black Shaming. Not Really A Thing Of The Past.

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Gayatri Balachandran
Jun 20, 2019   •  33 views

We've all at one point have heard this saying

Black is the new sexy

Yep.

Black is beautiful.

Black is Majestic.

Black is Cool.

Black is Godlike.

Black is Everything.

We all know how that goes. Don't we?

But we also see the other side of the coin.

" Isn't she a little darker than her siblings?"

" How does she even fit in? Isn't she a little darker than her mates?"

"I think this girl will suit you better. Isn't she a little fairer than the previous one?"

" Urghh. Not that one. I meant the next one with the fairer skin standing next to the dark skinned guy".

" What does she even see in him? She can do a lot fairer than that one!"

Yes. These are snippets of conversations that take place with or around us that we turn a dumb ear to. Yep. I am addressing the proverbial elephant that has been left unaddressed for so long that it has become second nature for us to pretend it doesn't happen anymore. Yes for you dunderheads, I am addressing R-A-C-I-S-M. It is an issue. Yep. You read that right. ISSUE. For those who that wanna say "Who the hell does that these days?" or the ever charming "Racism is a thing of the past".

Well, hello there genius then I guess I'm living in the past huh? One thing I don't understand.

Black muscle cars are fancy. Little black dresses are fantasies. Black dress shirts are awing. Black leather pants are daydreams. Black kittens and pups are Love. But black skin?

Huh. For those who didn't pause, okay. Oh did you want me to say "I'm proud of you"? Because I am not. It is not something to be proud of. It is how you should be thinking as a human. But in today's world congos on retaining atleast a part of your humanity.

I'm confused about some questions that have been driving me up the wall for quite some time. Lemme pose them before you and we'll see if we share our views after these. So gimme a highfive and we'll go.

Question no. 1

Who taught you to associate beauty with skin tones?

Question no. 2

Who gave you the right to judge people on their complexion?

Question no. 3

Why is being dark, black or brown essentially a bad thing?

Question no. 4

If being dark is a bad thing, why most fair skinned people have tanning in their summer short list?

Question no. 5

When did we become this pathetic excuse of beings that can't accept a part of their species as their own for their complexion?

Yep. I asked all those questions and even I don't have answers for all of them.

Before you go all seventh sensed super human on me going on and on about me whining about my skin tone Lemme tell you something I am perfectly comfortable in my own skin.

I've heard people say, " You're a brahmin? But you don't look like it. Even your slang is so different." Well Flash news. I am and it is not my concern that you don't agree.

Coming back to my point and answering the questions from my point of view.

#1) Appearance is all but a cover. When you get to the nook of things beauty and colour are two whole different entities. If you mix the two up , its a shame. Ever heard about Cleopatra? Mischelle obama? Shasha Obama? Barrack Obama?

Don't you call black pups beautiful? Don't you coo over pitch black kittens? Haven't you drooled over an all black dress? Why is it a big issue when it comes to skin?

#2) "Are you sure about this? Isn't she a little on the dark side?" well thanks for the obvious Mr.Smartypants. But why do you even care. What does that skin tone even tell you? Who gave you the right to judge people upon their complexion? So what if your friend or peer is falling for a dark skinned person? Did you for a second stop and think that you may be disrupting what may be a marvellous future for your friend by commenting on things that don't even count in the long run?

#3) This is to address all the 'dark' and 'fair' people alike. Why is being dark, black or brown essentially a bad thing? I don't understand. It is afterall just a shade of skin. Can you stand a game against Gayle and Russel? Can you go through life like Mandela did? Can you stand across a stage from Mischelle Obama? The answer is No. Your complexion whether it is dark or fair doesn't matter in the bigger picture.

That brings me to my

#4) fourth question. If being of darker skin is such a bad thing, why do 'fair people' as we put it spend hours under the sun trying to get a tan? Its a whole load of bull in my opinion. But who am I to judge your opinion on things. As they say we all can't really see the bigger picture! I mean what does that even mean?

#5) Coming to address the final part of my dilemma(if you can even call it that) we have always been that way. Afterall our social setting depends mainly on gossips and half truths flying about like daily mail.

If you don't get it lemme ask you a question.What do you think the scientists in NASA talk about when they are in break? 'The appearence of the next black hole" or " The reappearance of their colleagues ex-wife"? We've built relations and friendships on the basis of gossips ever since the start of time. I'm not challenging that at all. Why use it for disrupting people's already mangy confidence rather than something useful? I mean we all know what gossip is capable of.

Not to sound philosophical but why does the complexion of people count when their heart is in the right place. Let us just let them be comfortable in their own skin. Literally. Let us give those harsh whispers, pointing fingers and those sideway glances a rest , the next time we see a couple with different complexions. Let them just be.

After all the world is all black and white either. It in itself is multiple shades of gray. So why not the humans? Let us learn to embrace our identity whether it be crinkled eyes, too big an ear, crooked nose, nowhere there neck, bushy hair or chocolate skin. Let us be proud of it. And let others be proud of themselves too.

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Profile of Varsha Balasubramanian
Varsha Balasubramanian  •  23w  •  Reply
A nice write up on reality... Way to go!
Profile of Shree Bala
Shree Bala  •  25w  •  Reply
Wonderful write up. Loved it <3