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You are here : home > Raising Children > The Girl Child > Is Your Daughter Dark?

Is Your Daughter Dark?


The way parents handle a dark-skinned daughter is crucial to the way their daughter perceives herself when she grows up. Read on.


Karuna was a pretty girl from the Sindhi community. She was intelligent, vivacious and talented. But she had one 'flaw' as her mother saw it. She wasn't fair. She had a 'wheatish' complexion.

When Karuna would go shopping with her mother and pick out a lemon blouse, her mother would stop her from buying it. "You look dark in this colour," she would say, and pick out another colour.

Since the age of 5, Karuna's mother was constantly trying to 'improve' her daughter's complexion by applying various lotions in an endeavour to make her fair. "Apply this cream to your face, it will make you fair," she would say.

When Karuna would be out in the sun playing with her friends, her mother would exclaim "Why did you go in the sun, you've become so dark!"

And then, when Karuna's friends would come over, her mother would pick out a really fair girl and say "Look at Lata, isn't she pretty! See how fair she is!"

Karuna soon started to dislike her skin colour, and started desiring fairer skin. In an endeavour to look fair, she started applying powder to her face. She would step out with her face chalky and powdery, and she looked fairly ridiculous. No one said anything to her - perhaps her friends had tried and she didn't believe them. Soon she was left with no friends. She married late, to a man much less financially able than her parents were, who is unaware of her true age and who, in all likelihood, married her for her money. Not much of a marriage, is it?

And no, this did not happen because her skin colour was wheatish. It happened because her preoccupation with her skin colour and finding a suitable groom was her focus, and she had done nothing to enrich her personality. This is a true story, and sadly, there is nothing out of the ordinary in this.

The way parents handle a dark-skinned daughter is crucial to the way their daughter perceives herself when she grows up. Here's what you should do:

  1. Praise tanned complexions in front of your daughter. Say things like     "What a lovely tan." Let her appreciate that tanned, sun-kissed skin looks healthy, and a pale complexion can look bland - which is why the    western world yearns for a darker complexion.

  2. Most models nowadays are dark-skinned. Make sure your daughter sees    how dark is beautiful.

  3. Bronzing products and fake-tan products are flooding international    stores. Let your daughter know this.

  4. People in cultures around the world risk skin cancer in order to get a    tan. Make sure your daughter knows how the world loves dark skin.

  5. Solicit the help of your friends, and ask them to comment on what a    lovely, glowing complexion your daughter has.

  6. Avoid praising a fair complexion in front of your daughter. Yes, you can    praise a fair girl, but don't praise her because she is fair. Don't say "Oh wow, she's so fair!" Instead, say "She is so pretty, look how lovely her eyes are!"

  7. Do not obsess over her looks, as the obsession will pass on to your    daughter. Instead, pay minimal attention to her looks and encourage her in other pursuits like dance, theatre, music, sports. Remember that  when the time comes, your daughter will start getting conscious of her appearance on her own, at which time you can come to her aid.

  8. Concentrate on enriching her personality and ensuring she gets good    grades instead of trying to make her fair.

  9. Because of the way our society is structured, your daughter may    express a desire to be fair. Remind her that even dark is beautiful, and discourage use of fairness creams. You want her to accept the skin she is in, and not be continually discouraged that she is not as fair as her Parsi neighbour.

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Vishesh.1 year ago
My daughter is dark and I for one have never been one to place emphasis on colour or apperance for that matter! She came crying to me about how some kids teased her as the bat girl (cuz she is dark!) at school. Her teacher had given her a pep talk about it and we at home told her that such comments shouldn't bother her as being dark is just a skin tone. Excellent article! Loved reading it.
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Rajendran.3 years ago
need tips for fairness cream details for my girl daughter age 3 yrs
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Donna.3 years ago
Attacking fair skin is a horrible way to praise a dark girl. Words such as "bland" are bully words and you are raising your daughter by telling her lies and insulting fair girls just goes to show you lack confidence in yourself and in your dark daughter.

The truth is:
Fair skin is beautiful, lovely, and healthy looking. And most models in the world are actually fair and your daughter had eyes and will see this....Most models come from northern Europe.

And many people risk their health to have fair skin.

Most of Asia which is largest continent in the world envies white skin, not tan.

Instead of bullying fair girls, gain confidence for yourself.
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.5 years ago
I wanted to take this a step further, that this has been tough mentally on me too. In fact I recognize these thinking patterns in Punjabis, especially those tire tubed obese ones who still think that they are super pretty just because they have fairer skin, and I stay miles away from them. In fact I discourage my girls from liking punjabi boys because they will end up in a household full of such ugly tiretubed punjabi retarded females who will drive them mentally insane....It's just not worth it. I say change to another sector of "Indians" and say goodbye to all that garbage thinking......there are better things to do with our time.
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ShriKrishna.5 years ago
I'm guilty as charged. Have always commented about how we need to lighten our skin. It's been passed down from my mother to me. And although I promised myself that I would not do this to my girls - I still did it. now i can't undo this hurt and the psychological impact. We are Punjabi Indians and if your not fair - you are just not considered the prettiest. I think the whole thing boils down to feeling good about yourself. I ended up with an inferiority complex - never dealt with it - became used to it and as a result - i passed it onto my girls. In fact if anyone comments on this in society - the moms out there with dark skinned girls - tell them that those people who comment have inferiority complexes and need psychotherapy themselves. AND JUST STAY AWAY FROM THEM. Change your group of friends. Divorce yourself from them altogether.
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upm.7 years ago
i have a dark complexioned as well as a fair complexioned daughter. my elder daughter evrsince the age of two compared herself with my mother who is fair and used ask why she isn't fair? all the members in our family always told her that skin color doesn't matter and used to point how good her features were. i always praise a dark model on tv and as well tell her that there nothing bad in being dark. she is good at ice skating and painting. she is 7 now. her sister is 2 months old and very fair. sometimes i feel that my elder daughter seems sad overher dark skin. earlier i was least bothered about this but after the birth of my second child i am fa
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lalitha.7 years ago
great article. more like this please! articles that help us boost the confidence of our children are greatly appreciated!
 
 
 
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Saranne.7 years ago
hello:

i am a african american female student and i am currently writing a paper on the stigma with dark skin complextion. although i am an american citizen, and knowing how much my country is rittled with the cancer of racism, i have never been ashamed of my complexion. complexion complexes is a big thing amoung black americans. it actually traces back to the mental tactics used on the africans that were captured and brought over to america. the slave owners had to make the african turned slave hate the color of his skin in order to keep him from joining with fellow slaves and leading a revolt. by the time slavery was abolished in america in the later part of the 19th century, the mental damage had already been done. a man by the name of willie lynch (the one who was very intrumental in implementing these tactics) predicted that if his tactics were put into use and used, if i could use the term "religiously", the affects of it will last for about three hundred years. it has alsmost been three hundred years since he gave his address in 1712 and the skin complexion issue is still something that confronts black americans. i am interest in learning about how skin complexion has become such a big issue in countries like india, asia and even in europe amoung fellow europeans like italians vs. russians. if anyone has any information that they think would be useful to me in my search to understand why this is an issue and how did it become one. i am in the process of doing a research paper and i can use all the help i can get.

thank you so much

saranne
 
 
 
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paulette.7 years ago
in the story above the mothers comments and actions are what led this woman to thinking she was inferior because of her skin tone. i myself am a native canadian with a white husband, my oldest has dark hair, eyes and skin; my youngest on the other hand has blue eyes, blond hair and light skin. i let them know that they are both beautiful and they are both the same in other ways. children should know that everybody is different and those differences are what make them special.
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neha khanna.7 years ago
my whole hand and shoulders are dark circles , how i remove actually it is sun effected, can you tell me some home packs
 
 
 
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