Pakistan’s obsession with fair skin


In Pakistan, the worst thing a girl can be is ‘dark’. How often have we heard desi aunties tell us we’re too dark and that no one will marry us? It’s also common for rishta aunties to want ‘gori‘ girls for their husbands. And don’t even get me started about the totkas that our aunts and grandmothers try to get us to try.

While the concept of fair being beautiful is widespread and also finds its roots in racism, we are currently touching upon the obsession of fairness in Pakistan.

This obsession has led to the fairness cream industry becoming a multi-million dollar phenomenon. Commercials show a ‘dark’ girl who uses Fair&Lovely and next thing you know she’s married, is a model and pretty much has life figured out. Apparently dark skinned girls can’t do any of those things.

While the newer generation is fighting against this obsession with fairness, we are unfortunately still shackled by the chains of society. A society where a random aunty thinks it’s okay to tell you you’re too dark and no one will marry you. Where a rishtawali aunty comes with a checklist with ‘fair’ being her topmost priority. Where commercials still tell you that you need to have a lighter complexion in order to achieve anything in life. Unfortunately, we are still ruled by our gora complex where fair is beautiful and magical and anything else is ugly.

Kanwal Ahmed from Soul Sisters Pakistan recently released a parody of the chart-topping pop song ‘Closer’. Titled ‘Fairer’ the song touches upon the obsession of aunties across the nation and how we don’t ‘need them and [their] stupid shit standards.’

A verse in the parody goes, ‘I need to make this clear, Being lovely isn’t just being fair, So please don’t start telling me I’m ugly, Just because I’m dark’, which pretty much sums up all our feelings. The entire song is super catchy and contains everything we wish we could tell aunties who give us unsolicited advice!

Watch it here:


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