Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Beauty in Brown

photo credit:

I took sabbatical from my blog. To find my voice…my blogging voice. I didn’t want to write until I had something to share. Well, I don’t mean that I didn’t have anything to say all this while, but here at Cookie Jar, I wanted things to be different. The posts I write must strike a deep chord within me. The opinions, thoughts and things that I type out for Cookie Jar must inspire me. 

There are enough times when we talk for the sake of social chit-chat and I find that that drains me out. So, at Cookie Jar we’ll talk because an idea is interesting, inspiring, simple, happy, energizing. Amen J

Having said that let me share what I’ve been thinking. I’m in the midst of Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I like her prose, the way she weaves out her descriptions and unfurls her story. The other thing I like about her prose is the way she chooses luscious words to celebrate the colour of the skin. ‘The lush colour of rain-drenched earth’, ‘mahogany’, ‘ebony’ – how beautifully she revels in the elegance of dark skin. In a world, where light is favoured over dark, white over shades of brown, it’s a delight to find prose, people and photographs that celebrate dusky skin tones.

Photo credit: via Pinterest

Photo credit: via Pinterest

I’m an Indian and live in a country where every citizen is some shade of brown. But unfortunately, it’s the ones with the lightest of skin tones, who are considered good looking. As if, being fair is a virtue. When we can celebrate burnished browns, we’re too busy paying homage to fairness creams and the imaginary power of light-coloured skin.

From chocolate to cappuccino, warm cocoa to caramel, rain-drenched earth to mocha, there are so many shades of delicious brown around us (what we know as 'Black' is actually a shade of rich brown). In no way are these any inferior to light brown, pink or white. There is richness in the whole set of browns, each shade burnished and beautiful. The question is when will we as people of this country, as citizens of the world accept that skin colour is as individualistic as our DNA and finger print? That skin tones are a result of how much melanin we’re born with? That God created a whole gamut of skin tones like we created a whole set of different colours to paint with? That each person is different and special in their own way? That beauty is as much about dark brown as about light brown and white?


  1. hey Chandana, I second your thought and well presented.
    There is so much beauty in our colour and sad our people dont get that !

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  3. Hey Anupama!

    Thanks for dropping by. is sad that brown is not in, in our country! I wonder why the need for fairness creams!