Colourism sabotages marriage prospects | Sunday Observer

Colourism sabotages marriage prospects

14 May, 2023

Ifear and worry on the emotional hallucination that I may get involved with a sense of substandard and inferior thoughts that run across my mind on the negative consequences of colourism.

As and when such thoughts infiltrate into my heart, my inner subconsciousness itself compels me to interrupt a dear friend of mine and exchange a few words that can often spill a pool of soothing and moving words into my wretched and desperate mind.

I predominantly research and choose the right friend in whom I can rely, trust and count. I am frequently vulnerable to disheartening and dispiriting criticism, levelled on the colour of complexion. I would categorically say that such criticisms are baseless as well as destructive.

When I was in secondary school, I learnt that criticism is needed and it shapes your personality, but its need should not be taken for granted. I am fundamentally and structurally against colourism. Colourism is an infamous noun that belongs to the English grammatical definition of “The Parts of Speech”. Despite the fact that colourism in some societies is a disgrace, still there are some societies where it is a privilege.

Colourism is not born alone, and it often thrives along with racism which is also as unpopular as its twin colourism.

Dr. Sarah L. Webb is of the view that as long as racism flourishes and blooms in a society where some people impute and incarnate racism, colourism consolidates the region that is captured by racism. Meanwhile, I am heavily moved by a certain party that calls itself “The Thoughtful Beast” where it declared “I do not fear the sun darkening my skin, I fear colonialism damaging my self-worth with bleach”.

The shadows of colonialism still linger in some societies where predominantly the male folk is hugely moved by fairer skinned women over the dark-skinned at tying the nuptial knot and also to initiate a romantic relationship leading to marriage that shows in the fact that the men of such cohort have not yet been able to eradicate their deeply rooted Victorian concepts.

More chances

Research also indicates that in some societies, a lighter skinned woman has more chances of winning the heart of a man over her darker skinned counterparts. In this specific discipline, shedding “Light” on marriage: the influence of skin shade on marriage for black females, co-authored by Hamilton, Darrick, Goldsmith, Arthur H. Darity,William A. (2009), has often been a reference for the scientific community.

The article states that previous research, conducted on this specific matter has provided a noticeably abundant amount of evidence that justifies the fact that remarkably superior and greater social status is attributed to the black women who have got lighter skin shades in the United States.

In contrast, there are women who would proudly say that they are arguably the perfect shade of either black or brown and they would strongly disagree to make the colour of their original skin lighter, but take efforts to lighten the burden, discrimination, and stigma of those who came before them that conformed to another hue.

Researchers further went on to remark that the possibility of tying the knot increases among women under-30 whose skin shade gleams and irradiates. Meanwhile, it is further revealed that well over 55% of black females who have relatively lighter skin had been able to settle down with their partners.

However, only 30% and 23% of women who have had moderate skin shades as well as that of the dark-skinned shades had not been able to find a partner for marriage respectively. The other highlighted finding is the fact that 50% which is the rate, calculated for the ever married young white skinned women is marginally less than that of the same, attributed to young black women with light skin shades.

Concurrently, my thoughts strike at “Fair”- a documentary, featured on the matter of skin colour in India. “Fair” sheds some light on the issues that have had an impact on global heterogeneity. It centers its attention to the extent as to which the fairness fetish has percolated and imbued in profuse levels of Indian society.

As depicted by “Fair”, Currently in Indian society, fairness is regarded as a benchmark for beauty. Rather sentimental and emotional phenomena such as falling in love and getting married are decided while being predominantly based on insignificant aspects such as the woman’s colour of the skin and the length of her hair. As a whole, it is blindly perceived that fairness brings glory, happiness, and fortune whereas darkness brings misfortune, evil and despair.

A woman who remains anonymous in the same documentary talks through and argues that how pathetically, already scheduled weddings are abruptly called off merely due to the fact that the bride is too dark: the situations of this calibre bring out enormous hard feelings, distress and defame for the woman who had been waiting for her big day.

The cancellation of arranged marriages happens predominantly due to the fact that the photos of the bride that were exchanged with the groom’s party were either heavily edited or taken with heavy make-up that gave the girl a fairer look.

The woman further notes that the local advertisements for marriages categorically make mention regarding the party’s requirement for a fair-skinned marriage partner while the day- to-day life of a woman is also subject to the dilemma of colourism in relationships.

“Too dark”

However, it is slightly dramatic to believe in the fact that in this highly globalised and digitalized world, a marriage is decided just with a photograph of the bride where both the bride and the groom-to-be do not at least have an audience, even facilitated, and surrounded by the immediate kith and kin.

Lupita Nyong’o, a Kenyan-Mexican actress, and a recipient of multiple number of accolades that include an Academy Award and nominations for two primetime Emmy Awards and a Tony Award was said to have been told by a teacher in her secondary school up in Kenya that she would not be able to find a man for the marriage as she looked too dark.

Another female respondent in a recent research in the US notes that she has heard a considerable number of people unequivocally telling that they are only impressed to date with people with a certain skin tone. She goes on saying that in some cases there are some men who admit that they would engage in a sexual relationship with a woman where they have no concern on the skin colour of the woman, but they simultaneously say that they would only date or marry a woman who has got a light skin tone.

In contrast, one may also argue that in North America, Europe and across the world, dark skinned women are among the category of the most sought after for any prestigious capacity, notably in the fields of cinema, drama, modelling, art, and music.

Whatever the facts may be, according to Dr Sarah L. Webb, it may be advisable to believe in the fact that subconscious programming has the potential of controlling your relationship choices; both biological and sociological. However, crystal clear evidence that justifies the fact that you are not naively falling for whoever your fate and destiny have brought out for you is available.