Surviving Discrimination: The Chandra Vadhana Story

By Chandra Vadhana | An UNfair & Beautiful contributor




Right from childhood I developed a BIG inferiority complex because I was dark. 
I had the privilege of being schooled at one of the best convent schools in my locality, despite being born in a middle class family. In fact, I was one of the darkest in my class and hence the most “un-preferred” for any on-stage events. And that made me shy away from getting on the stage, even when I was sure of my capabilities. 
I used to cry and shout at my mother for giving birth to me dark. She was actually fairer and I used to be jealous of her beauty. But she was a woman of substance. She always motivated me and instilled great strength in me. Her belief in me made me realize that i can achieve anything in life and that my abilities are never connected with my skin colour.
She did two good things after my convent education: first she put me in an aided college, where there were girls I could relate to and shared my dark skin. Secondly, she forced me to join NCC and sent me to all the leadership camps, which helped bring out my capabilities as a speaker, communicator and as a motivated leader. 
The first NCC camp was rough, but I kept with it and went on to become the best cadet in Kerala, got selected for the Republic Day parade, went on a youth exchange program and won many medals. My NCC training also helped build my confidence. 
I went on to do my MBA from CUSAT. I also did my M.Sc. in Psychology and I am currently pursuing my Ph.D. in Psychometrics. 
I love my job as an RJ and voice artist, where I get to use my talent to communicate with the community. In spite of my many accomplishments and awards, I do feel sad that I don’t get on-stage work as an anchor due to the colour of my skin.
I went on to marry a man who is fair and handsome, who loves me and my kids more than anything else and skin colour is never an issue in our home.
I can say I’m a successful and accomplished dark skinned woman! I have overcome my inferiority complex of dark skin and in the past many years, I have motivated a lot of youngsters by taking personality development classes.
Finally, I believe that the concept of inferiority complex is a pure business strategy for a billion dollar industry that’s thriving because of the fairness creams. I believe this stigma can be wiped away only when more and more dark skinned women are in media’s limelight!
And, yes, lets Throw Out That Tubeof fairness products right out the windows!

The Chandra Vadhana Story is the first of the Surviving Discrimination posts. If you have overcome skin colour bias and would like to share your story to inspire change among young men and women, drop us a line at

Chandra Vadhana is a Voice artist, Radio Jockey and a Trainer based at Cochin. She is also a blogger and publishes at or