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Walking on the road, you see people going to places they belong to, to places where they like to go or merely taking a blissful stroll. Although you hardly know them, your eyes brush past them. Most of the time, your eyes will rest for a while on people looking good in their attires or mostly with fair skin.

You don’t want to gaze at a beggar on the street or at a person with some severe skin disease or an old haggard lady walking with a stick.

Reality is shunned by us because we are too scared of it. We would keep on admiring the beauty of fair skin rather than looking at wrinkled skin of an old lady. Most of us in Sri Lanka have dark skin. But if we think of personal opinions fair skin is what is regarded as beautiful and being dark is ugly. This is just another myth put out by the society.

Just because dark represents evil, the society has begun to look at everything which is dark with contempt. A common remark in our society when elders or relatives meet children during a gathering or a party is that; “That child is so fair because her mother is also fair” or “That boy is so dark”. The first impressions on people are always formed with regard to skin color. If a person is dark, his inside is dark and worthless.

Since when did the world start to put on labels on people merely by looking at them? In Shakespeare’s Othello, the characters wonder why fair Desdemona fell in love with the dark face of Othello. In Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind, all workers in the large plantation, Tara are black slaves. Everyone dark received a low status. Just because the color white is symbolic of purity it shouldn’t be used to judge people. It is the inside nature of a person which should be judged after talking with them.

People have fought against injustice, rebelled against color bar and still the society carries contempt towards dark skin. It shows how much an already rooted notion pervades many generations, how powerful skin color has become with regard to decision-making in the society. In a world chasing after wealth and luxury, amidst restrictions put out by time and money, everyone could let their minds judge what they see rather than digesting directly the things that meet the eye. Life would turn out to be much more simple and interesting.