August 20, 2013

Who Is The Real Enemy?

By Kavitha Emmanuel | Founder & Director of Women of Worth

Photo Credit: Zippora Madhukar Photography
Have you ever wondered where skin colour bias originated from? I have. And frankly speaking, there is no simple answer. Skin colour bias is so much a part of our culture that if we tracked it down to see the real enemies it would possibly point to all of us, our families, our extended families, our society, our ancestors etc. 

We are all guilty of either propagating or tolerating this age-old bias. Most people are unaware that such a bias can actually affect people in a deep way.

Photo Credit: Zippora Madhukar Photography
A campaign like, ’Dark is Beautiful’ (by Women of Worth) has as its core mission the task of exposing the issue, educating people on its effects on society and encouraging those who have experienced trauma because of skin colour bias to regain their confidence and self-worth.

Since our petition on to ‘take down’ Emami’s discriminatory “Fair and Handsome” ad, many have asked us the question: Why not other brands? Why only Emami? Why only Shah Rukh Khan?” Are they the only ones who are guilty of ‘unfair advertising’ or responsible for skin colour discrimination? 

Not at all! If we had chosen some other brand’s ad, we still would have faced this question. Change has to begin somewhere. 

The word ‘petition’ actually means ‘request’ or ‘appeal’. By posting a petition we are actually requesting Emami and Shah Rukh Khan to ‘lead the change’. 

August 14, 2013

A New Operating System

By Arpit Jacob | A Dark is Beautiful campaigner

Arpit Jacob says we need to rethink the way we talk with kids about skin colour— at school, at home and in the media.

Photo Credit: Zippora Madhukar Photography

I’m Arpit:

user experience designer
gadget geek
30 years old
and happily married.

During my school days in North India, a few of my classmates gave me other labels: kalia (black) and hapshi (negro).

August 5, 2013

Colour Me Bright Red, Emerald Green, Orange, and Pink

By Sudha Menon | A Dark is Beautiful Campaigner

If you have grown up in a dark brown skin, like I have, you have possible heard this sentence many times in your life: " She is dark but smart", " She is not dark, just dusky. And, very intelligent". "She is nice. A little dark, but nice..."

I grew up in an age when being dark was a horrible fate. Being dark meant either being noticed because of your dark colour or worse still, ignored or neglected to such a point that you begin to feel you don't exist. That people can't see you.

 Growing up, I remember the best years of my childhood were spent in clothes that were shades of either grey or brown so that I felt I was a mouse that disappeared into the background. Dark people could not carry reds, blues and greens was the thought back then but every time loving family members brought me yet another grey or brown dress for my birthday, my heart broke a little more.

If you look at photographs from my childhood you can spot me immediately. I am the girl in the corner of the frame, angry eyes staring down the photographer, almost willing him to make me look lovely, despite the drabness of my clothes.  In many ways , I think the colourlessness of my clothes made affected my personality for a long time. I was a shy kid with few friends and I became a rebel to boot, possibly to get some attention for myself.