17 Jul

True Match is the name of the compact powder range from L’Oreal and it supposedly matches your skin colour to the last pigment. When I read about the controversy with Beyonce and this product, I thought why people have no better things to do than complain about everything. So what if they listed all her other colour connections, she never claimed not to be african-american? I would love to have a flawless, glowing skin – I am vain about that. And if I can’t have that, I will settle for some make-up. Now if I wear make-up a shade lighter or darker, am I denying my heritage? No, I am not. It doesn’t matter what shade of make-up I wear, I will always be a curd-rice eating tamilian. My passport says I am a German national but I will always like pongal, vadai, sambhar!

After Trayvon Martin, I realize how I do not understand the complexities of race and colour at all! I have no clue!

I am a south Indian, I am dark brown and get darker in the sun. In India, we have skin-colour range that could put any paint-palette to shame. The gradients of black, brown yellow are a testimony to what nature can pull out of her enchanted hat. Now that I am older, I can see it for what it is, a kind of magic – genetics is magic. Two cells merge to form a new human being with various complex body-parts covered by a skin with a colour of its own. Amazing isn’t it?

The fact though, there is a lot of racism in India. Lighter skin is considered beautiful and when I was growing up, I tried out those ‘fairness creams’ too. It was all-pervasive and like any teenager, I wanted to belong and be considered pretty. But then the lazy nerd in me reasserted itself and I just lost interest in trying to keep up. And it stopped affecting me too, I know that I can out-talk anyone, so how does my skin-colour matter? I am an arrogant girl.

I recently spoke to a person of african descent and was trying to argue that we should let the bygones be bygones and move forward because, if we teach our children to hate based on the past, there will never be an end to all this. The discussion was not about race but rather how not all ills in India today can be laid to rest at the feet of imperialism. But how can your children not learn to hate when you openly discriminate based on skin-colour? I cannot preach forgiveness to a man that has suffered blatant racism.

In India, I have been told that it is good that I married a white-guy, my children at least do not share my skin-colour. I have also been asked how come my husband does not say anything to the way I look, does he not insist that I wear make-up? All this was said, not to hurt my feelings, no, these people thought they were actually consoling me or giving me good advice. There are some of course, who are suspicious about why a white guy would marry me(India – must be something wrong with him) or why I would marry a white guy (in Germany – must be the money). As I said, I am an arrogant person and I know my worth, so I don’t get rattled by all these free advice, I usually pity all these people on their ignorance. But now, I do worry about the world all our children will live in.


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