Friday, February 25, 2011

Mirror, Mirror on the wall, Who’s the fairest of us all?

Oh yes, this is one of the innumerable posts that lament the Indian obsession with all things white and pure or to put it more squarely – with “fair” skin!

It is chronic – this flaxen mania. From pregnant women forced saffron or kesar down their throats so that they give birth to vanilla babies, never mind the dark genes that run in the family – to nauseating matrimonial advertisements wherein a “fair” alliance is sought - gori is often written in brackets for most of these ads up north (of India) to explicitly state that they are not looking at any other kind of fairness in the wife-to-be.

Thanks to Fair and Lovely, white skin soon became the sure shot route to success in all aspects of life for a girl – career included. Recall the ads where a girl could become an air hostess, doctor, businessman, model, dancer etc. just by lightening her complexion (and as if that is possible)!
In this age of equality how could the double X chromosome warriors be left behind, and thus heralded the age of Fair and Handsome – brutally murdering the Mills & Boons romance of the tall, dark and handsome knight!

What irks me the most is the hypocrisy of the people advertising for these products. What about all the tall claims that beauty is not skin deep and dusky being in?
I was extremely disappointed when SRK, John Abraham and Shahid Kapoor signed endorsements for skin-whitening creams and lotions. If supposedly educated and influential people do not take any personal responsibility towards changing the dysfunctional social mindsets, how is a change in the positive direction to come about?
In this regard, the news article here about Ranbir Kapoor refusing to do a fairness ad campaign was heartening, even if I am not sure if he’s actually taking a stance or if this is just a publicity gimmick or if there is a time/price issue involved.

This is not just about endorsing colas or clothing, this is about endorsing biases, and irrespective of how indecent is the amount you are offered, "colorism" or racism/bias based on color of skin is something we need to stand against!


  1. Very fair Yuvika..
    But inspite of ads in matri sites for a fair bride or groom, it is not always these people marry only a fair girl or guy. It is just that we always think that "the other side is greener"
    I read o heard from someone / somewhere that in north (even in India) and western coutries, people are more attracted to tan skins. Again, this is just because they are get bored of seeing white and pale skins..
    As far as SRK and John Abraham, they just endorse it for the sake of money, nothing more!

  2. I am sure i had commented on this before :)

    all the celebrities should be responsible to what they sign the lure of easy money shud not make then give wrong information ...

    it is also funny how we indians who are in awe of White skin dont seem to notice that White people are trying anything and everything to have a TAN ...

    we want to get whiter and they want to go browner ..


  3. Cant agree more Yuvika. These fairness Ads are funny. Especially the ones for men!! And the actors endorsing, thats purely monetary. Nothing more!! May be Ranbir declined to endorse a fairness Ad because of some money issues, who knew??!! Whats there in colour. I still feel Nanditha Das and Kajol are prettier than Mahima or Kareena!!

    All this started with beauty pageants. And cosmetic industry took their lead from there!!

  4. @Bikram: That is being human - never satisfied with what u'got!

    @Sukanya: Agree with u on that!


I appreciate you taking out the time to share your valuable opinions! They mean a lot!


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