Today I happened to read this post by Prateek on stupid ads which reminded me to write this pending post. He has written about how stupid these fairness cream ads are ” The girl or guy is shown as a nobody with a dark skin, and then suddenly someone gives them a tube of the cream, which our lead applies and her/his skin tones lightens by a major amount. And voila she/he gets their dream job, everyone begins to notice them and they get their love .”
I will not entirely disagree with the ads for they do reflect reality to a certain extent. These creams may not change the girl but they do change way she is perceived. Being liked increases ones confidence and that may in turn lead to better performance by the same girl (which is actually a good thing). A fair-skinned girl does have an advantage over a dusky girl. It helps in lots of things like marriage prospects. The world we live in is obsessed with fair-skin. And mind you this one is a global obsession. This very belief led to policies like ‘Apartheid’ and i has taken a really long time and struggle to undo the beliefs.
But wait what about those girls who are not so fair. Wouldn’t it hurt them to know they lose out to somebody just because of their complexion and not because of their calibre. What about those who develop an inferiority complex and under perform because of this prejudice.
The cosmetic companies exploit this craze to mint money. According to one of the statistics ‘Of the Rs.3000 crore cosmetics and toiletries market, the skin-care segment accounts for Rs.1200 crore. Fairness creams account for whopping Rs.700 crore of this segment’. They sell fair skin instead of a healthy skin. In fact one of them even comes with a fairness-meter!!! This is not a concept introduced by the media but they only reinforce the already existing ideas to sell their products.
What is sad is that it has percolated to all the sections. Earlier the sections relatively immune to this obsession are now no less prey to it.
Some examples are
- Indians. Typically Indian Gods are supposed to be dark and not fair-skinned. Krishna is supposed to be Shyam Varna(dark-coloured) and Shiv is Neel-Kanth( Blue).
- South Indians or Dravidian race ( supposed to be naturally dark-skinned)
- In most part of the write-up I referred to girls because unlike men , women are gauged more on their looks and hence it mattered more to them. But now we also have fairness creams for men too. 😕
All that I can say to this madness is “Its just not fair!!!”