Fatima Lodhi, the first Pakistani to take a bold stand against the colourism by starting a campaign “Dark is Divine” which aims to redefine the so called beauty standards that has been set by society.
Colourism is a global form of discrimination and occurs where lighter skin tones are preferred, and darker skin tones are considered to be less desirable. We will never ever be free of colourism until we as a society confront it honestly.
We speak of religious equality and human rights and the first right is respect for the colour of our skin, respect for how we look, and respect for who we are. But our own society has failed to provide this respect, biased towards our own and we have double and superficial standards for everything around us.
In South Asia, especially in Pakistan and India, the life of people with dark complexion especially girls have been far worsened due to the attitudes of people. Women with dark complexion face many issues including the alien feeling they have in this so called fair society which doesn't like the dark skin tone and believes in different beautifying products that promises to make you white overnight. It’s shocking to see the role of media in making a society that discriminates the women with dark complexion. The advertisements of fairness creams are shown 24/7 on TV channels which have a huge psychological effect on the Persons with dark complexion. These advertisements are trying to portray an image that this society only accepts those who are fair skinned and the dark ones are the loners. Above all the attitudes of people make their lives miserable.
Why a person with dark complexion is considered an oddity?
Why a dark complexioned person especially women applying for front desk jobs, such as air hostesses, receptionists, TV anchors and etc. are told that they are not competent for this job?
And even if they are selected for such jobs they are asked to cover their faces with white foundation so that their actual complexion is not prominent.
It’s not our fault, it’s the way we have been brought up and taught at schools. Even in Kindergarten whenever a child is asked to draw a face and colour it, the teacher always gives them a peach crayon (named as skin colour crayon) to colour the face and never a darker shade like brown or black. This is the first stage when a child develops the thought that the only colour which exists is white (peach).
We have been listening to stories like snow white from our grandparents which had always been a discrimination against the darker skin tones. What to talk about the mothers who are always in a search for snow white daughter-in-laws for their sons and rejecting the girls who are dark skinned.
“Dark is Divine” an anti-colourism campaign started in October 2013 by Fatima Lodhi is a movement designed to ignite a conversation by, for and about persons with dark complexion to effect positive change in the way dark people are reflected in Pakistani and in a broader sense South Asian culture.
“Dark is Divine” encourages men and women to characterize and promote a beauty standard that is a genuine reflection of their spirit.
It also aims to rid the society of discriminatory mindsets and to prove that respect for all is important. We need to break down the so called beauty standards and work for a society that is inclusive and accommodating. We are humans and our humanity calls out for us to give respect to each and every person despite how they look.
For more information about the "Dark is Divine"
campaign visit the Facebook page.