While our western counterparts rush to exterminate racism from society, South Asians obsession with having a fair complexion gets worse, a bleak reminder of our post-colonial mindsets. After 72 years of independence from British imperialists, we still remain mere slaves to the internalized colonialism. It is not uncommon for Pakistanis to be blatantly racist and link elevated status to the whiteness of one’s skin.
Even though it is a hard pill to swallow for many, Pakistan is a country where it is genetically common to possess dark skin. There is no shame in being dark skinned, neither does a dark complexion mean someone isn’t hygienic. This disgusting notion has run amok in our society long enough, the popular use of skin-lightening products has only encouraged this unhealthy, archaic ideal.
Removing the ‘stigma’ of dark skin, through multiple whitening products is not frowned upon, instead it is widely encouraged. A whole market has established aiming to wash the dark skin away. The fact that fairness creams are used mostly by women shows that women, who already possess an inferior status in the Pakistani patriarchal structure are pressurized into looking whiter to be more beautiful.
Women, who are often perceived as commodities in Pakistan, suffer rejection and are considered ugly if the shade of white isn’t just right. As toxic as the Pakistani hatred for the West may be, Pakistanis still haven’t been able to wipe out decades of colonial enslavement.
When will we finally outgrow this complex and learn to love people based on the content of their character? Why is it then that, despite frequent criticism of the skin-whitening, cosmetic industry, Pakistanis do not take it as a serious threat?
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s, and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of The ACE News.
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