So, this is how a simple (relatively speaking, of course) shopping exercise can take frightfully frustrating turns to being insightful. It isn’t like I was oblivious to our sub continental obsession with “fairness”, but today’s incident made my heart ache.
Here I was at the mall, looking for some make-up products (read foundation, compact or mineral powder, ladies) to suit my complexion. With a great deal of pride, I will state that I am “wheatish”, “dark”, “dusky”, whatever you feel comfortable saying and stating. Fortunately, I am an individual who for long has known that brown is very beautiful but I can’t say the same about my countrymen. And women. Cutting back to the scene, I get assaulted at the counter by these saleswomen who dab spots of foundation on my arm, not one, not two, but three shades – all much lighter than the ones they should have tried. I gain control over the situation and draw my hand bag, all while vigorously shaking my head to register disapproval. “Madam, try this finish, it will look wonderful on you…splat!” “Isn’t this is a little light?” “Oh no, no, not light, it is bright.”
That’s right, the word's BRIGHT. I got around to biting my lip and explaining to the girls that the purpose of a foundation was NOT to make it look like you had any product on. *Blend, lovelies, blend like magic.* It was not an easy exercise and they did look at each other like I was a little batty but I came away with the product I wanted. *Aside, I love L’oreal’s True Match. Woohoo.*
Did I mention that these girls were as dusky as I am or perhaps a shade or two more? That’s the tragedy. All through their lives, they’ve been made to believe that being what they are is just not good enough. Stop buying fairness creams, stop bleaching your face, stop applying social pressure on your children or peers to look fairer. I beg of you.
Brown is bright. Brown is beautiful. Embrace it.