Skin definition

#1 Aug 29th, 2003, 19:14
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#1
Hello everybody,

One very stupid question, I know. But I would really like to know: what do the Indians mean by "wheatish complexion"?

Thanks,

Thierry
Brussels, Belgium
#2 Aug 29th, 2003, 19:17
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#2
Very pale, light skinned I assume?
It seemed like a good thing to do at the time.......
#3 Aug 29th, 2003, 19:18
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#3

Question

Have you been reading the matrimonials then?!!
#4 Aug 29th, 2003, 21:35
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Very fair, fair, wheatish...wheatish is "wheatish" (wheat colour)...I love to read matrimonial ads and western dating ads too! Great at coffee break time at the puter (I drink a lot of coffee)! The extra bits are great, like the fashion articles and stuff. I like www.shaadi.com and www.rsvp.com.au the best as I find them the way coolest and the best entertainment (also good if you want to match up with a mate, I suppose). They give you lots of extra free stuff like articles and advice. Part of the zeitgeist of our times is reflected in these sites - they are both serious and silly simultaneously. I find that very interesting and I find it interesting that I find these sites interesting (I am fascinated by cyberspace). I think it's a valid and sensible way for a lot of people to meet (otherwise they might never meet). I don't want to meet someone from Shaadi or RSVP (which is Oz's biggest trendiest coolest site, actually there are a lot of cool people on it) but I did use an RSVP dinner group this year to go to Planet Bollywood in Sydney as it was a place I didn't want to go alone and noone I knew wanted to go(Indian Bollywood restaurant on a weekend night) and guess what, the group was the coolest, nobody met anyone but we all had great fun hanging out. Are you sure she doesn't want you just for your passport...*wink* Someone I don't know very well at all told me this week his wife left him for an American she met on the internet. I didn't know what to say to him (this seems to happen often in Australia).
#5 Aug 29th, 2003, 22:53
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#5

"Peely wally"

I guess the old Scottish adjective of "peely wally" (ask your mum Samsara!!) fits best, since this slightly lighter skin tone so sought after in the matrimonial columns is achieved to some degree by staying out of the sun, so it's a slightly unhealthy skin tone!!
There are a whole collection of soaps and other cosmetics on the market to help you achieve this wheatish look!!
Even in the TV adverts these days, most actors are nearly as white as summer Europeans, I thought it was some kind of weird new trend but apparently lighter skin colour has always been seen as a plus point, especially with the higher class people trying to set themselves apart!!
Last edited by cyberhippie; Aug 30th, 2003 at 00:22..
#6 Aug 29th, 2003, 23:03
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#6

Question

No, the reason for my asking is the following: I have a friend in Bombay, whom I am going to visit in November.

She asked me to bring her back some make up from Europe and she would like some for "wheatish complexions".

Instictively, I would also have assumed that wheatish means fair... however, she is not fair at all, rather dark brown skinned actually.

From there my question... And also matrimonial ads (very entertaining to read indeed) seem to make a distinction between fair and wheatish.

Can somebody explain this?
#7 Aug 29th, 2003, 23:48
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#7
Yes, sorry, my line was confusing - OK, very fair means Northern European fair, fair means Mediterranean type fair, wheatish means fair for an Indian, can be anything from a "Sicilian Italian" type of fair to lighter shades of darker browner. It's the third shade in the matrimonials in the amazing classification and continuum of shades...like a make-up company foundation shades chart in the USA I suppose...

One of my nieces is peely-wally (hahaha, yes a true Scots word, cyberhippie, I know it well) - she is peely-wally even for a Scots. She's a quarter-Indian and when she was born she was so white (literally, it was amazing, I've never seen such a "white" baby, no colour, not even pink, very very pale, whiter than white) and I remember one Indian elderly lady just staring at her and staring at her, like she was an alien, the old lady kept saying "so white, so white..." in a dazed voice (don't think she had an opinion on it, just it was such an amazing sight to see such a baby who was "whiter than white", though she was one-quarter Indian).
#8 Aug 30th, 2003, 00:06
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#8
"homely girl"?
#9 Aug 30th, 2003, 00:31
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Us Scots are geneticaly blue/white, thats why it takes us so long to tan whilst in India we have to attain white before we can go on and get a tan.
All this done in a string vest in a beach shack, jeez I'll tell ya it ain't easy being Scottish!!!!
#10 Aug 30th, 2003, 00:33
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#10
I was told that dark skin in India indicates working in the sun (in fields, by road sides), so the person would be assumed to be of a lower caste.

In Thailand, most of the skin creams have 'added whitener' to help make the skin look white, also, Thais are always putting talcum powder on their face and (especially in Bangkok) walking around with a book or a bag held high to keep the sun off their face.

Do any of these things happen in India? I can't say I noticed it in India.
#11 Aug 30th, 2003, 01:57
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Yes steve the consumer line you mention from Thailand is flourishing business in India as well.
I don't think it stretches as far as using talcum powder to achieve the "whitey" effect but none the less, white is might with advertising agencies at the moment.
Not so strange I suppose the ad world has traditionaly drawn from an archive of stereotypes to sell products. At the moment it's paving it's streets of gold with a popular Indian stereotype!!!

Still a glance at a young persons fanzine might tell us that these ad "realities" are unhealthy!!
Whiteness I think may have become a fashionable norm amongst many new age Indians.
In the same way the "heroin look" of western models influenced our way of judging a fellow person, impossibly thin anyway, after retouching they are are an unobtainable roll model for many young people, the same applies for this "wheatish/fairness deal" it's about losing your identity for a fleeting fashion!!
I have a lot of reservations about this and would love to hear from Indian posters !! Do you see what I'm saying?
Do you also wonder at a media that wants to change the colour of skin in India!!!!!!!
#12 Aug 30th, 2003, 05:46
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#12
ok I guess its time an indian posted his views on this subject...

In India for a long time now...someone who is fair skinnned has been considered as someone who is from a higher caste or strata of society and this is also partly the reason why the birtish were so successful in occuppying and ruling india...the indians have always been obsessed with fair skin....in the olden days...the highest of the castes was the Brahmins...and since most brahmins spent their time in the temples their skin was of a higher degree of fairness from say that of an agricultural labourer who was of the lowest caste....and everybody aspired to get to the brahmin level of the caste system because being a brahmin would automatically get you a lot of respect and benefits....so everybody tried to be fair skinned to get into that level of society....though the basic fact is that you cannot change your caste like you change your religion by converting...to be of a certain caste you have to born into that particular caste...al this was in the olden days......

In today's times....most indian men want to show off their wives to the rest of the society...and indian socity in general equates fair skin to beauty....which is why you see all those matrimonial ads asking for fair young brides......if you want to know what whatish skin looks like then you could go to the passport photo thread here and look at my picture...I'm wheatish skin toned....so that should give you an idea...

Madnomad
One world, One man, One plan....Travel...unfortunately just one life!
#13 Aug 30th, 2003, 06:41
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MadnoMad, it's about time, indeed!

Of course, in California, we'd call you "brown." But the same craving for lighter skin exists in many ethnic groups here, too.
The map is not the territory. --Alfred Korzybski
#14 Aug 30th, 2003, 11:57
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#14
It's all stuff and nonsense - I assure you I'm technically from I won't say what jati (since I don't believe in "caste") but let's say, the myth goes Brahma via a rishi who decided he'd rather be a rishi than an emperor...etc etc and all I can say, is thank god at least some of my ancestors said, "stuff (don't want to use a ruder word) that". I can assure you if status was a criteria, it doesn't explain much (skin tones, skin tones vary even in just one family). My father said no, stuff all that (don't think it was a conscious thing maybe but frankly it was a relief to have a dad who didn't give a **** about "caste" "colour" "money" "status" blah blah blah blah blah - that's what formed me and I am so grateful, every day...saves you having to decide who you are going to hang out with, you can hang out with the whole world as we are all just humans, absolutely equal, no one up there and no one down there, all in the same place...and it is so stiffling when people expect you to be something just because you are "labelled" as this or that - I'm surprised there hasn't been more revolutionary activity in India and seriously, very seriously, I'm think people who are from certain groups (muslim, buddhist, hindu, jain whatever) need to think does this give them rights over anyone else...otherwise India will be in a very dangerous position, if it doesn't abandon superiority complexes.

Just say you vote for CPI (M) - no one will expect anything from you then - you can do what you want - I'm thinking of changing my surname to devidasi or lenin or something...if people get too persistent, just say you are a non-practising naxalite as you believe in ahimsa - that will stop the conversation about caste and skin tones and all that rubbish. When I'm in India I will definitely say, I'm a Marxist, that really gets people where it hurts.
Last edited by Samsara; Aug 30th, 2003 at 12:43..
#15 Aug 30th, 2003, 13:04
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