The dreaded tan

Breaking news: Katrina Kaif is set to get a deep tan for her role as the fearless Nadia in upcoming movie Bang Bang.

Umbreen Ali
By Umbreen Ali
Columnist
June 7, 2013, 3:30 pm

Breaking news: Katrina Kaif is set to get a deep tan for her role as the fearless Nadia in upcoming movie Bang Bang.

That shows the sheer dedication of an actress in an industry where beautiful women are idealised, and where movie titles are as sophisticated as their plot lines.

And breaking news it is indeed. What sort of self-respecting Asian woman purposely leaves her home to get a tan? That would be the beauty equivalent of a botched botox job.

Whilst most Brits are mourning the apocalyptic weather, the Asian is inwardly delighted at the lack of direct sunlight.

We walk the streets with umbrellas in the sun or heads fiercely covered to shield the glare of the sun from our faces.

We primp and preen ourselves to look anything but Asian. We’ve all got friends who religiously apply skin lightening creams.

The ultimate compliment is being told, “But you look Spanish/Greek/Egyptian.”

The Asian person’s biggest nightmare is the dreaded tan. The inherent fear of becoming viciously saanwla. And one has reason to be nervous.

There are those aunty’s who will introduce the most fabulous marriage prospect to a family with wonderfully sought after ‘good wife’ credentials. But she will feel the need to mutter disapprovingly under her breath, “The only thing is, she’s a bit dark.”

The fair skinned beauty ideal will even transcend the fact that the potential wife might be really rather unsightly or excessively chubby.It’s a vicious world of character assassination.

There is of course the fear that a dark woman will give birth to dark skinned children. Oh the social horror. We all know of someone who avoids taxes, another who lives off benefits and that one that has covert nocturnal dealings in narcotics.

But how typically Asian, the dark skinned new bride is the one to discuss.

We have been tirelessly trained from the onset to believe that fair skin equals beautiful, that it’s a superior vision of beauty.

It’s like the train of thought that determines anyone unmarried over the age of 30 to be covered in cobwebs and outcast as an undesirable.

The Asian woman who purposely goes out to get a tan is like turning up to a dinner party with your parents on one side and your long term boyfriend on the other. The desi world is just not ready for it.

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