Skin Deep

Illustration for article titled Skin Deep

A man was sentenced to two years in jail for driving his wife to suicide by calling her "black." This was in India, where, as previously reported, fair skin is highly deisired, and where being called dark is "worse than physical torture," according to the court. In the case, Syed Fathima was so distressed after two months of marriage to Farook Batcha (two months of constant fighting, and of him calling her too dark) that she put an end to the marriage — and her life — by pouring kerosene over her head and setting herself on fire. Just a note to the people who don't think it's a big deal when fashion designers refuse to use black models: It's all related, and it's global. [The Times Of India]


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I don't really think that Dodai was trying to say that Western fashion standards drove this man to criticize his wife's dark skin. Rather I think she makes the point that skin-color based prejudice is pervasive and insidious, no matter what part of the world one is in.

And as a dark-skinned Indian woman who has never been able to form a relationship with anyone else from India because I am so self-conscious of my skin color, I am really appreciative of this post. It's good to know that it isn't just all in my head.