Friday, October 1, 2010

Fairly unfair

Your husband is enamoured by you if you look fairer, you feel more confident when you are fairer, you walk the ramp more gracefully when you are fairer, you even perform better on a singing or even a cycling competition when you are fairer, your father's (who is, by the way, a make up artist) humiliation in the hands of a pompous actress disappears when you look fairer! And hello, since you are a "modern" woman, you accept fairness only when they come with a proof and esp when the ingredients are "ayurvedic"!!!

Well..I think you got a drift by now as to what I am talking case you are not an avid TV watcher, I am talking about the numerous commercials on fairness creams which keep coming every two minutes these days on TV!

Now, I have nothing against the fairness cream manufacturers or the TV commercials that proclaim their wonders. But TV commercials only project the general psyche of the society which helps find a market for products. And their lies my concern. In this age of modernization where we claim of moving forward, why this backward pull of celebrating our skin colour (or the lack of it!).

Yes, I understand that women (and men too) always want to look beautiful. Beauty is something which is coveted by the poets, the philosophers, the rich, the get the drift. From the fairy tales to the job interviews I am told that, beauty is celebrated with much fervour always. But beauty cannot be synonymous to fairness! It cannot be something as superficial as your skin colour! Then why is this eternal quest for fairer skin? Is it some kind of a heritage of the British Raj that we, Indians admire the lack of melanin (the pigment that is responsible for dark skin) in the skin so much! Melanin is actually a protective pigment which protects us from skin cancer, in case you didn't know! Then why such angst against melanin! From the time the kids start playing with dolls with with fair skin and blue eyes, this fascination with fair skin continues to grow. I am told (mostly by the TV commercials and some serials again) that even today, girls with darker skin colour neither find suitable jobs nor grooms! It is really funny that on one hand, we abhor racism and on the other, we still judge people by their skin colour!

Don't get me wrong, I am not against looking your best. Quite on the contrary, I believe that yes, you should look after yourself, look well and feel well about yourself too. But this mass hypnotizing on trying to achieve fairer skin, which culminates women measuring their skin tone with a "shade-o-meter" is down right derogatory to my mind! I wonder what impact these ads might be having on young girls! I hope this generation teenagers are smarter to shun the superficiality and accept the substance in their life! I hope that all this mass hypnotizing on the eternal quest to achieve a few shade lighter skin colour does not lead to a poor self image, I hope they realize instead of fighting the melanin of skin, it is a better idea to try to achieve a healthier skin, a healthier life and a healthier mindset which ultimately will lead you to beauty-both inside and outside!



  1. Well articulated. I completely agree with you. The very concept of beauty is completely in discord with the manner in which it is projected in the commercials, especially in the sub-continent. What I find most funny is that, in umpteen television-ads, foreign models (women as well as men) are dressed up as Indian (or Asian) and they promote looks that are completely alien (firang - in lay terms), and yet considered 'tempting' for the potential consumer-base. How skewed have we become!

  2. True dear. Beauty always lies in mind and am sure our Gen-X believe in inner beauty and all these commercials cann't actually divert their mind. I believe each and every individual should protest against these rubbish commercial advertisements like my better half. :-). cheers and keep on writing bibi.

  3. After reading this article, I asked Mangola (you know who is she)if she ever tried fairness cream, because my assumption was, she didn't and I was right she didn't. She is "fairly" dark in colour and comes with a very little education. Then how could I think, she never tried Fairness cream? because of the confidence she reflects in her attitude.

    I do not think a fair skin (if even I believe in all those commercial promises) has any potential to boost one's confidence even by single percent. A person, who is confident, is confident, no matter dark or fair. And last but not the least, it has no connection to attract opposite sex either, example, one of my close friends, who in indian terms, is quite black, never had a shortage of boy friends ;-).

    So, Confidence is all that matters !!!

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