My kids are brown. Very brown. Ananya as brown as me and Ameya browner…
As a thumb rule, we refrain from discussing people’s complexions at home. Yet, the monster looks up and has been looking up more and more frequently in the past few weeks.
It started last year when Ananya first said, ” Amma, why am I brown and my friends peach?”
Me: Well, that’s how God made you…you are a little peach and a little brown
Anu: Why did he make them peacher, then?
Me: He decided to add a little more peach to them.
Anu: Why not me..
Me: He decided to give you beautiful eyes, lovely skin, a sharp mind that can think so well and a beautiful heart…and mix a little brown into your skin also….
Anu( not convinced): Will I become peach when I grow up?
Me: Dont worry about that..you will be beautiful whichever way..
Anu: Give me healthy food so that I become peach…
Me: Sure..I will…( Not sure whether I should reveal just yet that it may not really change her skin colour…and partly delighted by the fact that I have an easier way to make her eat good stuff…)
This has been the pattern of conversation usually…But, last week, it was Mehendi time for us, and….
Anu: Amma, why am I brown?
Me: You are brown because God thought that will suit you best! And you are a little peach!
Anu : Amma, you don’t know the difference between peach and brown because you don’t go to school!
A part of me smiled at her innocent remark, but a larger part of me was really concerned over her concern.
The larger question: Why is the world obsessed with skin color (Fair ‘n’ Lovely ads to blame)? How do we overcome this issue especially while communicating with kids? I am especially worried because I want to ensure nothing breaks the kids’ delicate fabric of confidence!