Virtual Siyahi

BlogChatter A2Z Challenge Day 19 -Society, Stigma & Stereotype

In my whole series, I have been stressing over various elements which lead to stress and how we can try to overcome them and today I am going to share something very personal, holding a deep sentimental value for me, because I know somebody is listening to me today πŸ™‚

On the 19th day of BlogChatter A2Z Challenge, I present the most cunning societal siyyapa (problems) we all face and come across through stigmatized and stereotypical attitude of the society we penetrate in.

Color Shaming and Body Shaming are no less than a leading cause of depression, frustration and anxiety in people today, yesterday and maybe in the future.

Results: Lower Self-esteem, inferiority complex, isolation, and zero confidence.

Who is responsible: YOU, ME and whole Society. We knowingly and unknowingly right from the childhood use such terms with our kids and family members, zyada khaegi to moti hojaegi, dhup me ghumoge to kale ho jaeoge, We don’t aim at anything but it has become a casual way of talking since ages and we are carrying forward it, passing on the grand legacy generation to generation.

Please watch this video, it came straight from my heart and found this very apt for this theme.

My Personal Experience: Being a dark-skinned female,I always experienced this dark color paradox bothering me from my teenage to marriageable age, (after that I gave a bait shit about it) girls with fair complexion were beautiful by default and dark toned girls like me had to always face this color differentiation stigma and to cover up my family and friends used to say although you are dark in color you have got sharp features,nice hair and you are beautiful.

Even my dark-skinned classmates(especially boys) ridiculed the color of my skin. One of them called me β€œKaali Maa” I pretended I didn’t hear him and walked away. But my heart broke.  The most amusing part was if a boy is dark in color, he is addressed as ‘Dark and Handsome’ but for the girl again the rules were different here.

Unfortunately, this diversity in skin color has created a hierarchy of beauty – a hierarchy that tells you that the light-skinned people are the epitome of beauty, while the dark-skinned people fall at the bottom. Why only fair is lovely. I kept wondering.

I was unaware of this until I was in the seventh grade when I found out that my dark skin could put me in a tough spot and stunt my self-esteem.

In the tenth grade, when I was attending a relative’s marriage, my grandmother said why do you wear light colors? You look darker in light color clothes and again I had nothing to say.

I hated wearing white and black. I hated taking pictures in a room that wasn’t well-lit because I knew that while the faces of all my fair-skinned relatives/friends would show up in the picture, mine wouldn’t.

Then came the era where finally Dark was IN… the term “DUSKY Beauty” was evolved and it gave us due consideration and our skin tone was recognized finally. Volla!!

Thanks to all the dark skin Supermodels and Actresses. But by this time, I had realized one thing that even if it doesn’t matter to you personally, the people around you will never let you take it easy. They make it a point to make a big deal about it.

People in India have got this unfair obsession with the lighter skin as if it is in our hands to choose the skin color shades of our wish.

Virtual Siyahi

But as I grew up I started accepting me the way I am and groomed myself as a person and followed my own mantra, “Stay Unfair, Stay Beautiful” it means, it is all about our attitude and how do we look at our self, how we work for our betterment.

It is only YOU who can bring out the best in you and trust me you will outshine! Be you in all ways and always.

Much love and gratitude



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62 thoughts on “BlogChatter A2Z Challenge Day 19 -Society, Stigma & Stereotype

  1. Thanks a ton for highlighting it for people still carry that stupid mindset and herd mentality. So very true and apt to say that it the change needs to be initiated at home and that too at the grass root level to be able to see it at the societal level. I adore your journey and efforts of being comfortable and carefree in your skin and inspiring and motivating so many more. You are beautiful :).

  2. Oh Priyanka. This is such a reality. We are so caught in meeting the standards of beauty that we don’t realize how we land up stigmatising people. And I have found well read so called outgoing people do it. We really need a reality check. Great you brought this out today.

  3. Oh dear! I am feeling very sad and quite emotional reading this. People don’t understand what they are doing to those peoples? They are breaking their confidence, their self-esteem and much more. For me, it’s their nature and behaviour than anything else. I want to say you are very beautiful with your sharp features and the most beautiful soul.

  4. Body shaming is not just against skin color – I know a friend who used to feel uncomfortable because of her less height, then I myself was laughed upon for my big teeth. I mean, why can’t people look beyond physical appearance and use their skill to judge a person based on their deeper traits

    1. Seriously as if it is in our control and even if it is, through the technological advancement, why should we alter something which is natural and beautiful in its own way

  5. That’s a sad reality of our society which has some particular stigmas. Kudos to you for that your personal experience with us. Loved the positive note at the end.

  6. Very true Priyanka. And Yes girls actually suffer a lot because of this mindset of society which we are an integral part of. Then Being a teacher, I remember, It’s not only color of skin that lower the self esteem of a teenager. Belonging to villages, studying in government schools, not being fluent in English…Inspite of being good academically, I have seen young people suffering from these complexes and believing that they are not good enough! That they have no chance in front of their convent read, HiFi classmates! They look for Acceptance.

  7. I love this one. I am just the same tone, my cousins are fair and i am not. But somehow my parents never let me get bothered about it. They always focused on having a good and fit mind and body. I hope i can pass on these values to next generation too.

  8. Bravo Priyanka! We need messiahs like you to change the prevalent thought process. People just say things without even realising how negative they’re being. If it isn’t one’s skin tone, it’s their weight, their class, their mannerisms, their family background, their dressing sense.. it never ends! When will people stop judging others?!

  9. I so much loved this post of yours Priyanka. and the last line,” you gotta a problem, mend your ways” it should be framed. Such a society we live in where we are often judged by color of our skin, by our looks.

  10. Yes comparing people by size, shape and color and many other things leave a deep impact. I heard my four year old daughter speaking to herself looking at the mirror, “I need to improve my skin tone.” She did not know I was there. If it affects a four year old, anyone can wonder how deep is the impact of such prejudice.

    1. Aww little girl, my daugher is also five year old and she asks me that mama, gora kala kya hota hai and all.. people compare, people pin point and it affects,it does.

  11. You know my daughter is dark complexioned and has a slight inferiority complex but we have emboldened her to accept it and be quite fearless and upfront about it. She spends a lot of time with different creams to make her skin fairer. But after some initial hiccups, we have managed to get rid of her feeling of inferiority in a major way. But that apart, this problem of setting a benchmark extends to everything, not only the colour of the skin. Even in schools when it comes to academics children who have an inclination towards Science and Maths are given preferential treatment in a very subtle way and considered superior to others who do not have a very scientific or mathematical bent of mind. I thought this trend was prevalent only during the times when I was in school but I find even now parents want to live their dreams through their children by making them doctors or engineers irrespective of the child’s aptitude. Not only in skin colour or matters related to the body but in every aspect, society sets a benchmark and starts stereotyping people. I understand your point about skin colour. Even several of my mother’s friends make the statement ‘nattu ponnu chegappa irukkanum’ while finding brides for their sons. Translated from Tamil to Hindi this statement means, ‘Bahu rani gori honi chahiye’. It is a malaise that is entrenched very deep in our psyche.

    1. Very very true, your comments always adds value to my thoughts and help me dig more deeper. I agree, even I see parents of my age pressurising the child to work hard, achieve success at such tender age. My daughter is just five and whenever we meet during meetings in school I see women comparing other chidren, arguing with teachers for not giving a star or merit stickers to their kids. Indirectly they instill the belief that winning is important and for that you may criticize and bring down any one.
      And i just smiled while reading the line you mentioned about finding brides for the sons, it happened with me and now it doesn’t even matter. All we can do is to try to take care of our kids and see how they are taking these things,which should not affect them in anyway.

      1. Beauty is not superficial,
        it is something which lies deep within. One has to possess a beautiful heart to appreciate the true beauty. You are a champion dear that you overcame these social stigmas of passing judgements without any solid base.

  12. I can understand dhow tough it was for you to face those, once someone very closed to me, who had dark complexion, shared her experience. It was really nice to see you have discussed this issue, such issues should be brought into light so that some changes take place.

    1. It happens with almost everyone in some or the other form, Some are even criticized for fair skin or their intelligence..Kuch to log kahenge logo ka kaam hai kehna..stay tuned for my tomorrow’s post πŸ™‚

  13. India could well be the capital of the world when it comes to body / color shaming and the like. Our familes and close ones are often at the forefront when it comes to doing it.The only time I strive to be fair is when I deal with people. I like the humorous (sarcastic) twist you’ve given this siyapa, Priyanka. Another one of my favorite posts by you.

  14. Very well written Priyanka… I guess a big role played by media & advertisers all around to promote an ideal beauty definition… it is heartbreaking to see these stereotypes still existing in our society. Thanks for raising awareness

    1. True, I hate it when celebrities like Yami Gautam who is already so fair promotes Fair and Lovely.
      But was glad to learn recently an actress declined the same offer of endorsing fairness cream.

  15. Rather an important topic to be dealt with. I wonder why people keep shaming others. There is body shaming, skin tone shaming fat shaming and can you believe it even tall shaming as my daughter has gone through it. Looking at the mirror they should see a strong person rather than a person who is being shamed. Great post.

    1. I know, seriously. It is said beauty lies in the eye of the beholder but only if they want to see the inner beauty and treat people right.
      I am 5.7″ and I was called khamba and tadka ab kya kya dil ko laga kar bethe πŸ˜€πŸ˜€

  16. For someone body shamed for being fat, I think I could really identify with the societal siyappas. I wish people would just mind their own business instead of poking into others lives. Brilliant pose as always.

  17. Nice post. This is to be changed really! My both sons have different complexions, and often they are compared. But that doesn’t matter to parents. And I make sure they don’t feel anything negative about it or get affected.
    But still when we hear about a newlywed bride the first thing people say- bahu bahut gori hai.
    Hopefully, things have started changing but still a long way to go. Inner beauty matters.😊 Thanks for sharing your personal experiences too.

    1. Thanks for reading Sonia.
      Such issues have been deeply rooted in our society since ages and needs much more awareness, we have the platform and the power of pen then why not be the voice for such people who have faced this.
      You are doing great job as a mother πŸ‘

  18. Very well articulated Priyanka, society worldwide is stuck with race, sex, skin game. They have never looked inside, but only at the outer cover. We are responsible for that, as rightly mentioned by you. Love the post.

  19. I read this post first thing in the morning and just wanted to hug you for bringing this .. colour is one .. the other is body shaming .. I’ve been a bit on heavier side nothing to do with my eating habits or activity .. but right from class 5 due to my weight I was labelled college goer .. she looks mature when are you going to marry her off ? Those bullshit comments. Even i went into shaming myself by going on those unrealistic diets and starving myself .. finally I have to still tell myself .. look this is the way you are .. you are eating healthy .. you do what your body at 39 allows much better than so called slim and beautiful .. proud of you best post of day

    1. Thank you so much πŸ€—πŸ€—πŸ’œπŸ’œ I can imagine how you would have felt and at that time we don’t even know how to deal with such comments. Now I don’t care, don’t even think about.
      Don’t ever stress yourself, every body is different, be happy and healthy.🌷

  20. I didn’t realize this as an issue until I landed in the US. Here it is very dominant. Very underrated but needs to be addressed kind of issue. “Why only fair is lovely. I kept wondering” yes the definition of beauty is often misunderstood.

  21. You are soooooooo BEAUTIFUL Priyanka,…I envy ur skin…..flawless skin u have. Never bother about what people say.I am a fat cow and I care two hoots what ppl think as my weight is due to the meds I am taking for depression for 20 years. Do they know that? Khush Raho

  22. I believe shaming of no kind should be done but I guess we live in the times where trolling and shaming are celebrated. Nice post on a important subject.
    #ContemplationOfaJoker #Jokerophilia

    1. Thanks Manas.
      It has become a open culture of trolling, I was so scared to start my youtube channel because of the fear of getting trolled and roasted. But I hardly have any visitors to my channel so I survived till now πŸ™‚

  23. Color Shaming and Body Shaming are such a sad reality of our society. It hurts more when our close circle of people do that! I have seen the deep mental scars of this on so many women. I wonder when we will get over this ridiculous obsession with the lighter skin and focus of skills, talent, real inner beauty, goodness of heart.

  24. Hi Priyanka !
    Bang On!!very well written ,kudos!to your courage . Racism over skin tone is like a poision spreaded all over the world not limits in India only and the most frustrating and saddest thing is to watch the so called well eduacated ,socially active persons from our societies only,playing an active role in encouraging such craps and crowd is blindly following them .
    Applauds for your thoughtsπŸ‘πŸ‘

  25. I wrote on the same topic a year back and I have faced body shaming myself. Being a dusky girl, throughout my life I have heard people advising me the face packs to look fairer. Don’t know when is this going to change. You nailed it Priyanka.

Your comments make my day πŸ’œ

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