Not Fair, Not Lovely?


People don’t fall in love with your external beauty; it’s the real beauty which is in your heart that matters.

We have heard this sentence countless number of times from our parents when we plan to tread along the path of finding love, we have read this in countless books wherein the inner kindness possessed by a person always takes a superlative position than the one possessed with beauty. Also, we have heard this by our Bollywood celebrities who have claimed to fall in love with a person for their compassion, despite the fact that the compassion is neatly packed in a chiffon saree or a 6-pack abs. Ironical much.

Anyway, it’s a known fact that our society judges the person by their looks; while a girl being a bit too fair is perfectly marriageable while the one with a darker skin tone had to rub a lot of substances on her skin just so to be considered a marriage material. Sadly, we are a society wherein boasting about a girl’s skin tone is still considered handy in the many matrimonial ads that we see. And, such a case of our deteriorating society was clearly showcased in a famous family show namely, Comedy Nights Bachao.

Recently, critically acclaimed actor Tannishtha Chatterjee went on to this family show, which enjoys a national audience for the promotion of her amazing movie Parched and also to get roasted which is a theme of the show. However, soon the actress left the show for the blatant racist comments that were thrown her way, which were indeed very regressive.

Times like these makes me think, for how long can we hide behind the cushiony and comforting concept of humor and use it as a shield to convey our regressive thoughts?

A roast is an event in which a specific individual, a guest of honor, is subjected to good-natured jokes at their expense intended to amuse the event’s wider audience. This type of event was created as a mock counter to a toast. However, there is a very thin line between roasting and bullying, something that many of us tend to forget in order to make things funny.

In a country wherein the sales of Fair and Lovely are skyrocketing, a country where major A-list celebrities are endorsing fairness creams, a country wherein a girl is bullied by her peers and her family for a darker skin tone, such kind of humor instead of rejuvenating our soul with happiness, just takes us back into regressive attitude which are unintentionally pursued by many of us.

Perpetuating such regressive thoughts that shouldn’t see the light of the day isn’t humor, it acts against society and sadly for it. In a society which has a deep-seated problem with dark skin, which also has deep roots in our caste system, in a country where dark skin is marginalized, making fun of it is not ‘roast’.

How is making fun of someone’s weight, facial structure, skin tone, accent, be funny to anyone? It isn’t funny. It is bullying. And whether we want to believe it or not, we have made fun of someone just like this roast. Fun is made not because these things are worth making fun of, but because these things are still considered a bit lowly in our society, and till the point this perception is widely accepted and willingly laughed on, we can never evolve.

Are we not to be blamed when we make fun of someone because of their weight, their hairstyle, their clothes, their mannerisms?

Humor is the weapon of unarmed people: it helps people who are oppressed to smile at the situation that pains them. Is it still humor when you oppress the one who already are brutalized by the society?

Yugansha Malhotra

Image Source:

The Viewspaper