Since India is a hot country, with loads of sunshine, we get tanned way too easily. To get rid of this we will try anything, from Fair & Lovely to applying plain talcum powder and end up looking like a vampire!
Have you ever noticed the basic plank of fairness ads?
Girl uses the cream and all of a sudden she learns to smile, finds love of her life, gets promoted and becomes the most affectionate object of every person surrounding her existence!
We are in a country where Fair & Lovely outsell Coca-Cola.
The fairness ads are offensive to darker skinned people and SHOULD be pulled off the air. For people with not so fair complexion, this is almost like getting assaulted for what they are. They did not choose their colors. But on one hand, the parents, peers, family members keep reminding you of this so called ‘curse’ and on the other hand these dastardly TV ads try their best to subjugate one’s self-esteem!
But they are selling a product and just exploiting a myth embedded deep within our Indian psyche. Our history of inequalities due to the caste system and 200years of colonization by lighter-skinned invaders from the west and it becomes clear.
Let me give you an example:
A friend of mine, A was the only girl in her friend circle who didnt have a BF because she didnt want to get into complicated relationships at such a young age. and let me tell you she was happy with it.
One day a frnd D came and said " A once you get fair, you will get a boyfriend too" * Bitch @$^#$%!!!
Why quote others' examples when i'm blessed with loads of instances myself.
I'm medium toned and my cousin P is milky white. And she is considered way too beautiful in my family. People somehow dont seem to notice her frizzy and lifeless hair or her okayish features. And we are always compared.
Since childhood, people used to suggest different fairness creams to my mom. And she used to bring dozens of them home and i used them all in an attempt to look beautiful too. (Mom is very fair so it was somehow important to her that her daughter looks Fair & Lovely too). We used to try all sorts of home made ubtans and face packs. Everytime I met an aunt, the only good thing she had to say was "Try honey. Instant results".
Family occasions turned into running the gauntlet of who’s gone darker and who’s the prized future daughter-in-law based on fair skin.
Time passed, I grew up (read 13!) and slowly realised what I have been doing all this time and stopped being so stupid. Slowly my parents realised that too.
Come college and voila! I was suddenly beautiful. Thre was this freshers pagent in my college and i remember sitting in the audience and so many girls coming up and asking why didnt i participate?!!! Well, that time I realised that beauty surely lies in the eyes of the beholder.
And no i didnt participate and quickly escaped while no one was watching.
Some months back the same cousin P visited and the first thing (even before a hello) she said "hey you are looking beautiful today!"
She " because you are looking very fair today."
I "gaali mat de (dont use profanities on me)" :PP
I suffer from multiple personality disorder or rather the people around me! I'm still the ugly duckling for some of my relatives esp. aunts and the cousin P. But good-looking to my peers and mates.
Just Yesterday a college friend M showed me a photograph of two teenage girls.
M- Check out the right one.
I- (not sure as to what am i supposed to 'check') mm..nice top.
M- Not the top yaar. look at her face. kitni gori hai..kaash mai bhi itni gori hoti (How fair she is..I wish i was so fair like her)
I- Seems she used loads of foundation.
M- Noo!! this is her natural colour.
I- You have the economics notes with you right now? :PP
I know this is the saddest part among Indian girls. I feel sad when I read the matrimonial section "wanted FAIR, blah blah..."
The worst part is even guys have started to appear desperate for white skin. The concept of metro-sexual and uber-sexual men has further added to this disturbing trend. The fairness cream ad by Shahrukh Khan with chants of ‘Hi Handsome, Hi Handsome’ looks so sick. What happened to the good old 'Tall, dark and handsome'?
The definition of beauty in the Western world is linked to anti-aging, but in India, it’s all about being two shades lighter.
The word 'gori' which literally means fair and has become a synonym for beautiful women. I personally think sun-kissed girls look much better... and this not a case of angur being khatte !!
Even the makeup here is biased. Ever noticed why some girls always appear cakey? Because of the foundation they use.
(For the uninitiated, it is used to even out your skin tone and conceal scars).
Here though, it is believed that the main purpose of foundation is to make your skin lighter - hence the lighter the shade, the better.
I'm so sick of the fairness issue in India..it's downright silly.
A Salma Hayek will always be more desirable than a Kate Winslet.
PS- Why is the good character is always portrayed as being fair in complexion, suggesting that the fair are fair dealing and the dark complexioned has evil intentions...??