In our country, women are under constant pressure to look beautiful. And, unfortunately, beautiful means tall, fair and slim. This regressive thinking is what is contributing to our failure as a society. Women are constantly body shamed and discriminated against on the basis of colour. Coupled with these is an obsession with fairness. The colour of your skin is not something you can or should control and it certainly isn't a parameter to define beauty.
In an upsetting incident, a photoshopped picture of the Indian cricket player, Smriti Mandhan has raised some serious concerns. The woman who made the country proud is certainly beautiful inside and out, just the way she is. Smriti's picture was photoshopped to fit into the skewed beauty standards our society has set. Smriti scripted history last week, the left-handed batswoman officially became the second fastest Indian to score 2,000 runs in ODIs. She achieved the record-breaking score in the third ODI against West Indies.
The picture that has gone viral on the internet shows Smriti, visibly fairer, in pink lipstick and kohl-rimmed eyes. Yes, you read that right! This is one of the first pictures that will appear on your Google search if you type the record-making cricketer's name. This got us wondering, has this ever happened to a male cricketer? The answer is no.
The image came to light when a user shared, "Was Googling Smriti Mandhana and came across this photoshopped image. Actual image on the right, for context. How fucked up are beauty standards if a cricketer's photo in a press meet is being photoshopped to lighten her skin tone and add kajal and lipstick". Take a look!
While some people were generous enough to say that she looks beautiful on the right too, others hit back saying that they were completely missing the point and that her "looks shouldn't be relevant in the first place".
Twitterati's reactions ooze of disappointment, anger and frustration- all at the same time. And, we couldn't relate more.
Her or for that matter any individual's achievements speak for them and make them beautiful for others. It's sad that her already beautiful pic needs to be photoshopped to meet some random skin color standards God knows who has set and why we are following.— SwatKat💃 (@swatic12) November 13, 2019
I understand that Beauty catches attention but not why fair complexion is considered integral to Beauty.— Gandhian with a Keyboard (@Cricendulkar) November 13, 2019
No wonder @FairAndLovelyMY does such good business in India— Srinivas Buddharaju (@srinicapri) November 12, 2019
We're suckers for skin colour