Reading Indian Homemaker's post, reminded me of how much our Indian society is still hung up on 'fairness'!
The very term ' Fair and Lovely' indicates that fairness and loveliness goes hand in hand! I remember, reading matrimonial ads for fun, with friends(long, long time ago) and coming across loads of adverts which stated very clearly 'fair bride wanted'. And I do not recall any advertisement for a 'fair groom'. Obviously, fair grooms are not necessary, just the 'Y' chromosome is enough, when it comes to the groom!
Going back to the main topic - why this fascination with 'fairness'???? Is it as harmless as the fascination for 'tanned' skin abroad, as some people like to claim? I wish it were, but I would have to disagree.. Agreed, that a lot of people in the UK and the US( and I am sure in a lot of other countries), go for sunbeds and other tanning treatment to look good. So what is the difference with our people trying to be - 'fair and lovely'? The main difference I would think is that in there is no discrimination within a society against people who are not tanned(in UK, US etc). Tanning is simply a beauty treatment, however, in India, a whole lot more depends of one's skin colour! Brides are rejected based on 'fairness' of the skin! Some time back I remember seeing a 'We, the people' on NDTV, where a gentleman, very honestly said that, given a choice between 2 equally qualified people, he would select the fairer candidate, as that would be more beneficial to his business.. Unfortunately, this mindset remains! Somebody else, qualified the difference, saying that one would not mind having a dark girlfriend, but when it came to the woman, to take home to mummy - it would have to be a fair girl!
However, don't you think, that if a woman tried to reject a prospective groom, on the basis that he is 'not fair', would be told not to be 'frivolous'?
Even, in this age, people advise expectant mothers to eat certain foods to ensure that the unborn child is 'fair'! And this is not just among the uneducated, unaware society either!
The silver lining? Well , from the look of it, today we have a market for 'Fair and Handsome' as well.. Well, at least we can no longer complain of inequality, I guess!