Colour me wifey

I was watching a programme on TV last night, on Channel 4 (who incidentally, have some of the best viewing stuff ever, on the occasion that I do watch the box.

Anyways, it was called ‘Bleach, nip and tuck’. It was talking about the idea of de-racialing people, because they were using cosmetic surgery etc. to change an aspect of their physical appearance, which was relative and common to their cultural background; There was a chinese woman who wanted larger breasts (augmentation?) as on average chinese women’s chests are seven inches smaller than their caucasian counterparts, and a black woman who wanted a breast reduction as her chest was large…the short guy who was going to go to Marseilles to have a procedure to lengthen his legs (he decided against it as due to his build etc, he would only gain an extra 4cm)…the middle eastern guy who was having laser treatment on his back and shoulders.

So, they showed the teaser for next weeks programme, and there was an Asian/Indian looking girl who was crying saying ‘I just want to be white’, and they showed a woman having her face smeared with what looked like bleachiness goo.

What is this obsession we have with colour?

Even shaadi dot com has complexion categories: fair, very fair, wheatish, wheatish medium, wheatish brown, and dark. I kid you not. And if that isn’t bad enough, there are profiles who are put up by parent/guardian which state looking for a girl who ‘must be fair’, and I’m starting to see that on a few of the guys self-written ones too. In fact all they usually ask for is tall, fair and pretty.

Good grief, like it isn’t hard enough to find a companion, without the need to pull out a Dulux colour chart to be able to distinguish if you make the cut?

What’s worse is I know quite a few desi girls, who actually use skin-lightening bleaching creams. Usually dodgy imports of ‘Fair & Lovely’ from back home. And I’ve now started to see these on sale in some of the Asian shops here too. These girls have washed out faces, and their necks and upper arms are different colours. they have no idea how stupid they look, and in one family it was the Mother who pushed her three daughters to ‘become gori chitee’…whitey white. And her daughters are certainly fair now, but I have photos of them from a  few years back, and they look really strange, and unnatural.

Fairness does not equal prettiness.

And let’s not forget those gals who cake on foundation that is four shades lighter than their actual colour, so you can see the tide marks at their jaw line. Trust me that’s not a good look. Especially when your neck is a different colour from your mug.

When I went to Pakistan quite a few years back for my cousins wedding in Lahore (or La Whore house as we now like to call it) us girls had appointments at salons to get manicures etc done. So when the lady finished doing my hands, and started on my pedicure, after the usual filing and stuff, she smeared white stuff onto the tops of my feet…I wonder what the uppers are called…the opposite to soles. Anyway, I kind of really just ignored her because I was chatting to my cousin, until my feet started to sting. Of course I jumped of my chair and she came and asked what was the matter. I explained that my feet toppers were stinging, and what was that she had put onto them? ‘Bleach’. I calmly asked her to please remove it immediately, and also why was she putting bleach on me?   She replied ‘ Iss se aapke paaow khoobsurat aur neat hojaate hain’, which means that this will make your feet beautiful and neat. My cousins still tease me about it to this day, they think it’s bloody hilarious. Just goes to show though, that there is a market for fair feet.

Like life isn’t complicated enough, we women already have so many weight/body issues, thanks to the medias obsession with size zero, and then to add colour to the mix? If people reject potential partners on their skin colour, then there is no hope.

The girls in our entire family, including myself… we’re all ‘fair’, or ‘fairly fair’, and yet when our boy cousins have been looking to get married the issue of wife complexion has never came up. We have all hues in the family: black, white and everything in between.

Now you may well think that I’m saying that, because I don’t feel the need to lighten my skin. I’m not, and I don’t, but can I just say I burn really easily in the sun, and usually slap on factor 50, else I come out in a heat rash within fifteen minutes of sun exposure. Sure there things about myself that I don’t like, but my colour isn’t one of them. I wish I was taller or had a super fast metabolism. I swear sometimes the mere act of looking at food causes me to gain weight, I’m sure of it.

I used to, and still favour the darker guy; mysterious, virile and manly…Plus I figured that our babies would be a nice milk chocolatey mocha.

It’s things/times like this that I’m put off having kids, because although I dearly love children, I worry about what their muqaddar, their kismet has in store for them. If they come crying to me because they don’t like their colour, I will slap them into reality.


~ by Honest Waffle on 29/10/2009.

5 Responses to “Colour me wifey”

  1. Good post, but I don’t blame media, marketing or the companies that sell these products anymore.

    Most people are just insecure twats. Our culture adds to it and the parents do nothing but exacerbate the issue. Desis are generally wannabes in so many different ways.

    From the ones that think they’re better cos they have lighter skin, to the ones that judge people based on their CV and the ones that have snooty noses because they speak Urdu. It’s pathetic. Status obsessed Zombies.

    In regards to the colour thing there was a show on BBC a couple nights ago. I’ll email you the the link

  2. Newborns aren’t even spared. Have heard many an aunty ask about a fresh brat’s complexion.

  3. I got home this morning, switched on my electric blanket, got snug and comfy & read through this. Also caught the programme on 4 OD. All the bone cracking & liposuction put me off my breakfast. That’s all I’m saying. 😛

  4. Mash – Insecure and very confused. Thanks for the link will watch it tonight if I get a chance.

    Saaleha – I’ve heard of pregnant women drinking milk whilst carrying child to make them fair. I wish I was joking.

    TNT – Wasn’t it gross?! The worst part was where they were lengthening the guys leg by click turning the rods that had been inserted into his bones. I had to look away.


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