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My Problems With The Way Our Society Measures Beauty

“Mirror, mirror on the wall. Who is the fairest of them all?”

First thing that comes to mind these days when you say the word “beautiful” is a fair skinned girl with pink tinged cheeks and light eyes.

Beauty is powerful yet subjective.

Whereas there isn’t a set standard of beauty around the world there are definite ideals that are shared and products that are publicized to help you attain them — an easy task in this age of technology.

Across Pakistan or even across the sub-continent there’s an obsession with fair skin and light features, which is the exact personification of the opposite of what most South East Asians look like.

Women undergo a plethora of scrutiny just based off of her skin tone.

There’s an imbibed perception in the minds of our youth that getting their hands on a tube of fair and lovely will change their lives, or maybe Zubaida Apaa really doesn’t lie when she says “Ab Gora Hoga Pakistan.”

These so called “Standards” that we’ve set only bring our youth’s self-esteem crashing down and fairness cream demands skyrocket.

You’re no longer buying a product, but you’re trading off your self-esteem for a twelve ounce bottle of whitening potion.

Everyday someone new is joining the lucrative bandwagon of the industry that tears down the average woman and makes her believe that her only aim in life is to be ‘fairer’ It is a classic case of body-shaming, where privileges are awarded to members of society with lighter skin, while dark-skinned individuals lack privileges.

Our advertisements promote colourism, with dark-skinned women suffering in some way at least, until a fairness product miraculously lightens their skin color which instantly ‘brightens’ their future.

That is not what beauty is and it is most certainly not what the perception of beauty for a girl in this day and age should be.

Pakistani women aren’t ‘fair’, they’re beautiful. And no healthy amount of melanin can bring that down.

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