All is Unfair in the Fairness World

My maid asked me to give her some advance and the reason- some boy was coming to see her daughter for marriage. Her look told me there was some problem so I inquired if they were looking for dowry but it turned out that the reason was her dark skin. They wanted a simple, homely, fair and beautiful girl.

Well who says marriages are made in heaven, they are made in melanin cells..
I asked her why she is so concerned about the dark skin. So many Bollywood actresses are dusky and beautiful. She was not convinced and quoted some fairness cream ad saying her daughter may face difficulties later in life as her hubby may go for other fair women and that will kill her.

I reluctantly gave her the money and she happily said that it will bring her five tubes of fairness cream and regular use will make her daughter look beautiful in just a fortnight. I was shocked for I had not imagined the money was for fairness creams.. I gave her good sounding and then wondered how much the fairness ad campaigns are psychologically affecting the young and old. There was no value for the talent and intelligence ..what counted was the fair skin.

The same night I saw a disgusting ad on the TV where in a music video cum ad where a dark skinned girl contemplates suicide when miraculously this fairness product appears out of no where and in an instance she is blanched and fulfills her dream as a famous singer, life becomes fair once more.

I wondered whether the I&B ministry knows about this alarming ad and plans to do something about it. Such a disgusting ad was all I could think.

The four letter F word (Fair) seems to be the leading factor in each and every sphere of life. All girls want to be Nicole Kidman and now even men seem to be following Shahrukh Khan’s fairness campaign dreaming of the rose petal filled bath tub and the beauties around him.

Fooled by the fairness ads people forget the difference between a good complexion and color and the whooping 800 crore market of skin lightning cream industry cashes on the stupidity of the masses. Fairness creams, lotions even soaps .. it is unbelievable to what length the market will go and unfortunately the society laps it up.

It is not just the uneducated who have a fixation for fair skin. A neighbor spent 2k to get a specialized skin lightning treatment in an upmarket saloon only to realize that the cost kept going up and in the process she now had additional dark circles. Buy one get one free. I said.

I love my dusky skin and hate people who are in continuous pursuit of trying to look fair. The classic Indian beauties are all dusky and I think it is the attitude that matters not the color of your skin.

Wonder when this racist attitude will end where the fair skin is the emblem of virtue and desire. A country where there is a hue and cry over every little thing and the I&B industry plans to ban the international fashion channels, does anyone care to put an end to what’s being promoted in the name of advertising.

Disgraceful is the only word that comes to my mind. I think people ought to appreciate the beauty within a person. Skin tone barely scratches the surface of what makes a person beautiful.

Read this on a forum so sharing it here

“People are like coffee. Real connoisseurs drink it straight up dark. They know the rich vibrant flavors and textures of a deep colored brew. Dark roasts like Colombian, French, Viennese, are simply exotic beauties that ensnare the senses. And ah espresso, a shot of real dark espresso will keep you running all day.

On the other hand wussies cannot handle the real thing. They need all that cream and sugar to lighten it up and sweeten the deal. Often to the point that you have to gag on that filthy saccharine laced solution with ugly pasty opulence. What do they know about true taste?

So the conclusion is that those who are obsessed with fairness are wussies. some Indians are wussies. Half the country does not appreciate coffee. Darned followers of tea drinking bootwearers!!!!”

Well what would one say to that ..I being a coffee addict myself.

this is my NaBloPoMo post for today

13 thoughts on “All is Unfair in the Fairness World

  1. I loved the post!

    I am dark ( I prefer to call myself dusky;) ) and my mom has been after me so many times when I was young to use ‘ Fair & Lovely’ and that too they claim its an ayurvedic cream ( at least they did 7 years back)!

    I particularly loved this bit which you have picked up from the forum too 🙂


  2. This is actually a serious issue. Anbumani Ramadoss had started a campaign against the fairness creams, but then the government term came to an end. Now, it is upto the new health minister to pursue this matter.

    But then, these ads are racist. To show that a dark-complexioned girl is insecure and a burden while a fair-complexioned girl is oozing with confidence and has everything in life is nothing but racism. I think in Europe/US these ads would have been banned along with their products.


  3. Like this article very much, really the issue of I&B people letting such misleading ads air on the tv is ridiculous. Let’s not even go to the people who’re making such ads in the first place cuz we all know how dumb they are! But I&B, come on… blaah.


  4. Nice post. I’d written a similar one a long time ago. These ads really annoy me and depict that it is ok to discriminate based on colour. I’m dark-skinned too but don’t mind it at all. But I know my grandma isn’t too happy.

    To me, this is a subtle form of racism existing within India — discrimination based on skin colour.

    P.S. I can’t believe they had an ad where a girl was going to commit suicide because of her skin colour! I thought the ads 4 years ago about a girl not getting a job due being dark skinned or a guy was bad enough. But suicide??!!


  5. Well said! Even though I’m a part of the advertising industry, fairness is too touchy a topic for me to digest. I sell bikes, cars, music, even potties but fairness products always make me squirm. Its the bloody colonial hangover which just won’t leave us.
    PS. Do tell me about the suicide ad. I wanna see it and if its too offensive, complain about it. Even though we are selling lies (mostly), we have a review board 🙂


  6. Things never change. I wrote a very similar piece a few years ago — which was lifted from my blog and printed (with the photo I took) by the Bangalore Times without attribution. The fairness neurosis makes everyone look bad (so to speak), but it looks as though it will never go away. Sad.

    I like your observation that “people forget the difference between good complexion and color.” The somewhat sideways corollary has to be the bright-yellow, turmeric-stained faces of South Indian woman. The distinction you draw makes (barely) sensible the seeming contradiction of making oneself look like a martian in pursuit of a more attractive look.


  7. Good comments !!!

    Most people and Bollywood are in denial. Bollywood has yet to not pancake and mis-represent their dusky heroines– each one of them are lighter versions of their actual self. If a heroine happens to have naturally less melinin, people brag about that achievement: look, she’s pancake-free fair!!

    When will Bollywood and India realize that Indian beauty comes in all shapes, sizes and colors- and diverse Indian beauty deserves to be represented far more democratically than it is currently. ??


  8. Fairness is always a touchy topic. Remember there was no other reason the world hated MJ until the even worse stigma of child molestation attached.
    However a market exists and manufacturers will exploit it. It is unfair to say that ‘fairness ads’ affect these people’s psychology; rather, their psychology is being exploited by fairness product makers and their advertisers.
    It’s a far lesser bane than making cigarettes


  9. “Wonder when this racist attitude will end where the fair skin is the emblem of virtue and desire. A country where there is a hue and cry over every little thing and the I&B industry plans to ban the international fashion channels, does anyone care to put an end to what’s being promoted in the name of advertising.”

    Well, I wonder if it’s because of the racist attitude. In my view, it’s more like it’s deeply ingrained in our brains that fairer skin is more beautiful or something like that.

    Just a feeling!

    Nice article 🙂


  10. I find this topic very interesting. I am of Indian descent but am Canadian…I find that most Indian people, regardless of where they are born, have a preference for very light skin. It is so racist and archaic. Also-it seems to be that this expectation is placed on women not men. I find the whole thing pretty sad but I think open and intelligent discussion helps. -soraya


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