India’s obsession with light skin has followed us to Canada and everywhere that desis have settled, and it has to stop!

I was standing in line at my local Indian grocery store with two of my children. It was a quick run for fresh eggplants and ginger for a curry I was making that evening. As we stood in line to pay for the produce, my eyes wandered over to the area near the cashier where my kids were playing. Lining several shelves within arms’ reach from them were packages of skin bleaching creams. On these boxes, a woman’s face was pictured several times in succession as she faded from her natural brown to a much more light skin colour.

I couldn’t believe it! What if my older daughter had been with me? Someone more aware of her surroundings and who would have noticed those packages. Someone more conscious of what she looks like and aware of the differences among shades of brown. What if my kids ever felt like they needed a product like this?

I pitched the story to the team at The South Asian Buzz, and not only did they love that I was going to cover this, they all shared with me some memories of their younger years. Some were truly heartbreaking.

I’ve since learned that this is not just an issue in the South Asian community but is a phenomenon that spans Asia and Africa. Nobody can pinpoint exactly where it comes from but from the comments I received on my personal Facebook page indicate that everyone wants this to end. Well, everyone except the brands that push this garbage on us.

That little girl inside me who heard comments about fair skin in such a positive light is thrilled that I used my voice to call this out. Some of my favourite pieces to write are the ones that make people question the social ideals that they’ve grown up with.

You can read my article on The South Asian Buzz. Do you have a comment to share about this? I’d love to hear it below or on SAB.

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