Growing Up, I Was Always Told That Fair Is Beautiful, Was Constantly Bullied And Called Kaali Kalooti. – Tanya Nambiar
6 June 2017
Growing up, I was always told that fair is beautiful, was constantly bullied and called Kaali Kalooti. I had low self esteem!!
As a child, My maternal grandmother used to ask me not to drink tea because it would make me “darker.” Everywhere I turned, people seemed to have advice on how I should treat my skin to look “prettier.” In school plays, I was never given the leading role because who wanted a dark protagonist? I was constantly cast to play Krishna, not Radha, because “tum kaali ho.”( you are dark) Kids say the meanest things and through school, I was bullied into believing I was ugly. My cousins were obsessed with fairness, used talcum powder in abundance and ended looking like ghosts.
Delhi is home for over 3 decades. Many ask ‘are you madrasi?” Delhi’s favourite term for any south indian. Even today, beauticians ask if I want the “fairness facial” and in the run up to my wedding last year, everyone had an opinion on how to get me this fair, bridal glow. During trials, Make-up artists made me three shades lighter, Designers suggested colours that would make look fair and pretty. The obsession with fairness still continues and it’s 2017. Matrimonial advertisements still give importance to ‘fair and beautiful’ and not education, young girls get wrongly influenced by the fairness product and this is India in 2017!
Thankfully, my mother always taught me to be proud of who I am and I am glad, I never fell prey to the fairness cream. Today I am comfortable in my own skin (pun entirely intended) and just focus on doing what I love.
Today I am a musician, anchor, and voice over artist. Everyone told me not to quit my cushy corporate job for a career as an independent musician. In this industry, though, no one has ever commented on my complexion, at least not to my face. But sometimes I model, and that is a whole different story. There, my colour plays an “important role.” Sometimes I get a project thanks to it, and other times I don’t because of it. Firstly, I am not your typical skinny model and then I’m a dusky. I am pretty sure my pictures are airbrushed but there is little i can do about it. The modelling industry can be cruel.
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