There is an outrageous paradigm set for the intricacies revolving around beauty which has made our lives a ludicrous affair. As for someone who grew up in South East Asia, there are certain set of characteristics that define what beauty comprises of. And, people are more inclined to abide by this criterion that is put down by the society; as any act of rebellion is labelled rather bold and defiant. You are constantly taunted by these sky-high set of unofficial rules that follow you like your shadow; that creep on you as a reminder of ‘your inadequacies’. While there is an unwarranted need for society to coerce you into following the standard image of ‘beauty’.
The most critical and exigent idea of beauty is about being obsessed with lighter skin tone. Billions and billions of dollars have been invested in these multinational fairness cream industries; which aren’t a new fad. They have been around for more than a couple of decades. Persistently, over the years implying that fairer skin is better; and somehow there is something inherently unfortunate about being a darker shade. Yet, these industries are on the rise and they don’t seem to be stopping anytime soon, basically profiting off your insecurities.
But, truth be told, as damaging as these marketing ploys have been, it is the result of firm convictions held by people in Asia. The stringent ideology that darker tone is going to be your doom. And, these innumerable strategies have proven to be just as harmful to men as to women. Growing up with the notion that lighter skin will always be ‘the ultimate beauty‘. So, people here lather themselves in layers upon layers of creams, under the impression that they would someday eventually achieve ‘the perfect pale skin’.
You have been embedded with the idea that these daily fairness cream baptism will be your fate; and your dusky skin will always be a symbol of the taintedness that clings onto your body. And, somehow your natural mocha skin will remain inferior to snow-white. And, this thought is constantly reiterated in the society to bring you down and make you conscious of ‘your flaws’. The non-stop contemplation of going out in the sun, and the image of crisp burnt dusky skin playing in your head, in an endless loop. Or the thought of sticking to a particular color scheme; in the hopes that maybe one day, a South Asian kid would embrace his sun-kissed brown skin.