I want my husband’s Indian skin. I want to unzip it and try on a darker background. I envy him moving around in full mastery of his cloak of sun, gold and chocolate. I feel like I am an American winter, the moon, a poached egg.
Think how wonderful it would be to change skin tone at will! An old wardrobe would look entirely new. I could span every season of Color Me Beautiful. Just let me make the jump from my day skin to his night!
My preference for duskiness probably began with swarthy Rhett You-Know-Who. Ricardo’s rich Corinthian leather. Yul Brynner’s hot top knot and biblical bully boy attitude. A desperado called Antonio with leather pants and a dangerous guitar. All irresistibly bronze.
What is it with a tan? Is it that the sheen of summer dusk magnifies American robustness? I could be reaching but, it seems almost patriotic to glorify lost summer love in tanning salons with bronzers, sprays, lotions and potions. Here, take my money and give me amber #2.
Skip now to my husband’s home of India where, as far as I know, tanning salons do not exist. Indian skin is generally darker than Caucasian skin, although with just as many nuances of brown, beige and black as there are shades of pink, yellow and blue in paler complexions.
Skin products are as popular in India as the US. The intended effect, however, is totally opposite. The more fair you are, the more desirable, creditworthy, hire-able, loveable and valued you are. Truthfully, skin lightening creams don’t actually seem to erase color as much as fade it. But psychologically it works very well because, in India, all is fair in becoming fair. The fight is to block out the sun is just as strong as the American obsession to welcome it.
Fortunately my husband appreciates my white skin but I don’t think he covets it. At least I don’t think so. He likes winter and looking at the moon and he really likes eggs.