History of Indian Obsession with Fair Skin

May 2013
1,721
The abode of the lord of the north
Ravi varma's paintings show more deep symbolisms.

Darker skin was associated with demons/ villains. Beauty was predominantly light skinned.




They remind me of Roman sculptures!
 
Apr 2017
711
Lemuria
Ravi varma's paintings show more deep symbolisms.

Darker skin was associated with demons/ villains. Beauty was predominantly light skinned.




They remind me of Roman sculptures!
Beauty is subjective though. To me those women aren't beautiful. They are short, chubby and odd looking. To me a south Indian like below is way more beautiful and has better features. A tall, well built, elegant South Indian woman to me will always be more attractive than its Northern counterpart. Their eyes are softer and their noses not as curved. They are two different races of people really.

 
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May 2013
1,721
The abode of the lord of the north
Beauty is subjective though. To me those women aren't beautiful. They are short, chubby and odd looking. To me a south Indian like below is way more beautiful and has better features. A tall, well built, elegant South Indian woman to me will always be more attractive than its Northern counterpart. Their eyes are softer and their noses not as curved. They are two different races of people really.

Which picture among those in my post are you referring to?!
 
May 2013
1,721
The abode of the lord of the north
The preference for lighter skin in India only started in the 16th century when Mughal rule started in North India. And it does not have anything to do with Arabs. Even as late as the 12th and 14th centuries there are Indian texts which make fun of the Turkic appearance and their skin colour is described as ugly.
In the 12th century the court poet of Prithviraj Chauhan compared the skin colour of the Centrals Asian Turks with a disease.
And the princess of the Vijayanagar Empire made fun of the skin colour of the Central Asian women in her text called Madhuraivijayam in the 14th century.
Seems you're right.

Mughal rule seems to have accelerated the obsession certainly. But I doubt if it was totally initiated within their regime.

Early colonization of Portugese, the Dutch and later the british also might have had some impact i guess.
 
Feb 2019
62
Ariaca
No they don't dude. Average North Indian don't have the same skin tone as Persians. Persians are even fairer then Kurds so how can they share the same skin tone as North Indians? Even Aurangzeb believed so. The only exception to this would be Kashmiris and Himachalis but they are outliers. The Iranians in the South are usually Baloch and Arab (Khuzestan and Hormozgan) so not Persian.
One Persian is working in my uncle'scompany in us is from a city named Shiraz , he and his family have same skin color as our family (olive leaning towards pale) but his facial features are completely different from us.

Generally light Iranians are either from Azadi or Gulaki background who can pass as europeans.

Rest of Persians have similar skin color as rest of levent Arabs, Egyptians and Some North Indian ethnicities.

Upper caste Punjabi and Haryanvis are generally very Light skinned with well built physique, I guess it's diet and % of ancestry that makes difference.

I can be wrong tho.
 

kandal

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
2,767
USA
Mongols with Indian vibe ? Are you serious ?
Yes, I am serious. I got similar comments about the guide from others too. I have no idea how she got the Indian facial features. She had the Indian hair type too in stead of the pencil straight Mongol hair. She insisted that I plant birthday kisses on her cheeks since I had my birthday while in Mongolia that I obliged - Lol! People in Mongolia can have dark olive skin color, though majority don't look that way.
 
Apr 2018
69
Ayodhya
I highly suspect the accuracy of your source. Aurangzeb was not "dark-skinned," and he did not identify ethnically or culturally with ordinary Indians. Aurangzeb spoke Persian, had a Persian name, and identified with the culture of Persia. Aurangzeb was only 3/8 Indian (specifically Rajput) by ancestry; his paternal grandmother was Jagat Gosain, a Marwari princess who was the mother of Shah Jahan, and his paternal great-grandmother was Mariam-uz-Zamani (popularly referred to as "Jodhabhai"), another Rajput princess who was married to Akbar and gave birth to Jahangir. The remaining 5/8 of his ancestry was Persian and Turk. Akbar, his great-grandfather, was of mixed Persian and Turkic ancestry. His mother, Mumtaz Mahal, was descended from Persians on both sides of her family. I don't see how a man with 5/8 Turko-Persian and 3/8 Indian Rajput ancestry could appear to be a "blackamoor" to a Persian, especially considering that neither Jagat Gosain nor Mariam-uz-Zamani were representative of the average dark-skinned Indian in terms of ancestry, being elite Rajput ladies.

There are plenty of contemporary portraits of Aurangzeb, and he does not appear to be particularly "dark-skinned" in any of them. You can easily see who is a native Indian and who is a Persian, Turk, or other foreigner in Mughal-era paintings, as in this one:


Civfanatic, I never said that Aurangzeb was dark skinned. Neither did I say that Shah Abbas knew for a fact that Aurangzeb was dark skinned. In fact, Shah Abbas had not seen Aurangzeb, and just called him blackamoor because he associated Aurangzeb with the dark skinned masses that the latter ruled. It was only some time after this blackamoor insult that Shah Abbas first saw a portrait of Aurangzeb (he asked Aurangzeb's ambassador to show the portrait). Aurangzeb obviously wasn't dark skinned. But his dynasty had been indian-ized to some extent by then, and hence he would have been conscious of his Indian identity, when someone was abusing the skin color of Indians. Since he was the king of Indians, he found it offensive when a foreigner such as the Persian king abused the skin color of the Indians (Aurangzeb's subjects). In short, Aurangzeb identified himself with the people he was ruling, despite having obvious morphological differences (such as facial appearance), in comparison to his subjects.
 

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