In an applaudable move, Dainik Bhaskar newspaper has decided to stop publishing matrimonial advertisements with descriptions related to the complexion of women. The news definitely comes as a breath of fresh air as our matrimonial advertisements put society’s most problematic biases on display.
In typical matrimonial advertisements, whether put up by the groom’s side or the bride’s, individuals ask for oddly specific attributes in their potential partners. Whether it be height, weight, waist size, feet size, salary per annum and most commonly seen, skin colour. Many men seek “very fair” women to marry. The same is done by the women when they seek a “tall, fair and well paying” husband. They also describe the woman’s complexion whether it is “fair” or “wheatish”. The leading Hindi daily has announced that it will not publish such descriptions of skin colour from now on.
Dainik Bhaskar Matrimonial Ads To Not Describe Women’s Skin Colour
It is amazing how people publicly ask for a ‘fair’ bride and still get responses! It goes on to prove that the majority is still not ashamed of reducing women to their skin colour. They do not what to have a non-fair woman in their life no matter what she has accomplished. Putting an end to such objectification, the leading daily has decided to stop printing such ads. This can hopefully inspire other newspapers as well so that nobody is allowed to list out their problematic skin colour criteria for a life partner on a public platform. This will not immediately stop the colourism in our society but will surely be a big step towards it.
Seeing people for just their skin colour is problematic. It comes from a time when people with darker skin colour were treated differently by the fairer people. In India where most people are of the same complexion, it is astounding to see how we still find a way to put the fairest of them all at the pedestal. How we differentiate between ‘wheatish’, ‘fair’ and ‘dark’.
Parents feel scared for their dark-complexioned daughter, wondering if anyone will marry her! Sons with dark skin colour are told to work hard and get good numbers in their bank accounts so that it makes up for their skin colour. This primitive thinking might have started to go away in the some of the educated and informed sections of society but most still decide on who to like depending on looks, more precisely how fair someone is.
Hope this will be the beginning of a much-needed conversation
Views expressed are author’s own.