Indians' obsession with the fair skin is legendary. Matrimonial advertisements show that preference for the fair skin is widespread. Irrespective of the caste and social status which are the major determinants of arranged alliances, everybody wants a slim, fair and homely girl and every prospective groom is tall, fair and handsome.

Dark men and women actually prefer to call themselves wheatish. On the other hand, there are many fair-skinned westerners who love our skin colour. Human beings are obsessed with a thing they adore but do not have.

Francis Kuriakose,

Puducherry

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The advertisements that promote fairness creams are also to blame for people's obsession with a fair complexion. They claim that their creams can change a dark colour skin into white in 15 days. Worse, a fairness cream ad shows a team of experts selecting a person for a job on the basis of complexion.

B. Thiagarajan,

Coimbatore

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An admiration for the fair complexion is deeply ingrained in our psyche. Unfortunately, we are unable to rid ourselves of it.

T.S. Pattabhi Raman,

Coimbatore

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Problems encountered by the not-so-fair are untold. A dark-complexioned girl is isolated in a family. It is difficult to find a bridegroom for her and she is chided for it as though it is her fault. Boys with a dark complexion are mocked at in schools. Even some teachers tease them in front of others. It is time we did away with the medieval notions of ‘beauty'. Unconditional acceptance is the norm for peace.

Raghu Seshadri,

Chennai

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Preference for some things is natural and cannot be helped. A liking for fair complexion is one of the many natural tendencies. That even men and women with dark complexion prefer women and men with fair complexion testifies to this. Thankfully, beauty is a matter of perception.

Seshagiri Row Karry,

Hyderabad

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If someone prefers fairer skin, so be it. If somebody is a fan of mango or Amitabh Bachchan, so be it. Why should we expect others to like what we like or feel is equally good or better? It is a needless debate.

Sivamani Vasudevan,

Chennai

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