This poem is to condemn the illogical fascination for fair/white skin prevalent among certain brown-skinned people (read: Indians). This has been the case for years now, but I am happy to see that people, especially the young generation is speaking out loud against it, even boycotting skin-lightening beauty products (for people who are unfamiliar, there’s this product called “Fair&Lovely” which has been there since decades). I just thought I should be able to contribute my bit in these protests.
Do you want to be fairer, my dear?
Do you want to look more pretty?
Are the words “Fair” and “Lovely”
Synonymous in your dictionary?
Why do you feel low when
You see someone white?
You just have a bit more melanin,
And that is totally alright.
Did they tell you that dark is ugly?
That you won’t find a suitable man?
Why then, tell them, if he just loves your skin,
You’d rather not have anyone.
Did they tell you dark is repulsive?
That you won’t get your dream job?
Why then, tell them, it’s your skills that define you,
Not the prejudices of the mob.
Did they tell you dark is bad?
And you should ‘beautify’ your skin?
Why then, tell them, those products they sell
Are just for selfish money-making.
Like chocolates which are all good
No matter they are white, black or brown,
You are naturally perfect
With all the shades you own.
As I look at myself in the mirror,
I see the colour that reminds me of home.
The colour that I love the most,
The colour of the soil I was born from.
Yes I am brown, and proud of it !
I wouldn’t have it any other way.
“Fair” and “Lovely” aren’t the same words,
I only want to grow lovelier each day.