Fair skinned women preferred for marriage! The dark reality of India

India is a large market for beauty products, and leading this list of beauty products is fairness creams. All thanks to our age old fixation of fair skin as compared to healthy skin. Men and women are getting deeper into the dark corners of their prejudice minds in order to opt for lighter skin tone.  However, one never looks into the how far back this takes us as a society. Where women like Kalpana Chawla have stepped into space and Lara Dutta has won Miss Universe pageant but majority India is still obsessed with fair skin.  According to a survey by leading matrimonial website, Jeevansathi, 71% of men prefer fair women when it comes to marriage. This could be because the idea of preferring young fair skinned individuals germinated in the minds of people by their parents. Young girls are being pressured to lighten their skin so that they look more attractive. Skin color has become a fraught issue. This is where the skin-whitening creams tap into and take advantage of this sad reality.  Psychologist and relationship expert Mary George Varghese says educating people about such discrimination is necessary: "Education is the tool that can eradicate such practices from society. People should be trained to accept individuals the way they are, and made to realise that discrimination on the basis of colour is something that even the Constitution doesn't accept," she says. More and more role models, as in successful women in all walks of life, need to come forward and educate people that being accomplished is more valuable than being fair. We need to learn that women will not be appreciated only if they are fair and slim.  We, as a nation, need to move past the 'dark' clouds of colour bias and emerge through as emancipated and exhilarated lot.