Wordless Wednesday: The World is a Pigmentocracy

Driving in gridlocked traffic earlier in the week, a BBC Worldservice piece on pigmentocracy in Martinique resonated with me. People prefer lighter skin not only in the Caribbean but in all the former colonies. This form of reverse racism is appalling.

A more traditional form of bigotry reared it’s head with the awarding of Miss America to Nina Davuluri, an American woman of Indian descent, with many feeling that she was not American enough.

As a woman with darker skinned female Indian relatives, I corroborate the pressure to be as fair as possible.

Bleach based face creams can be found on shelves all over Asia and the Middle East. Ironically a dominant Indian brand is called “Fair and Lovely“.

While we looked at photos last night of the gorgeous Nina, a friend of Caribbean background commented “she’s a dark Indian.” And she is darker than the Aishwarya types who have represented India at Miss Universe or Miss World.




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Reader Comments

  1. Suzette

    I was so happy when she won and so saddened but not surprised by the reactions. But proud of her response…

    I remember taking my then boyfriend now husband back to Trinidad and my mother’s aunt being annoyed that having lived in the UK, I had not bagged myself a white man and I quote ‘ to add milk to my coffee’. My husband is from Ghana and is dark-skinned.

    On my return to the UK, my mother’s response was to laugh as aunty had said the same to her about my Dad and my Step-dad – the latter being darker than the other – surely my Mum should have corrected the ‘mistake’ made with my Dad.

    Our behavior and words around our children and grandchildren will be the change – as my son insists he’s brown and that his friend Oscar is peachy-pink !

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