Monday, November 14, 2005

The dark face of India

I really like watching advertisements and really admire the creative talent of the people who manage to send across a strong message in 30 seconds. I just love the Dicor ad - its just so beautifully made. But everytime i see a fairness cream ad it just irks me to see how just being fair changes the life of the girl(and now boys too!). Talk about cliches. Cant these people come up with a better reason? I dont think you come up with one good enough to convince me though.

Ever since Emami launched their "Fair and Handsome" fairness cream for men i've been provoked to write about India's obsession with fair skin. I've tried to fathom the origins of such a superficial mentality. What is it that drives the sales of this cosmetic product? Why is a land of brown skinned people so infatuated with fair skin?

The Hindu metro plus - Chennai did a very nice article on why this is such a disturbing trend.
"What we are doing to our girls is undermining their self-confidence and violating their sentiments through racist endorsements. We have the collective responsibility to see that our children grow up in an emotionally, physically and intellectually healthy environment. Accepting and respecting differences, be they of colour, caste or creed, to seek beauty in all of Nature's creations, should be driven into young minds." - Couldnt have written it any better.

In my opinion it might be because we have had a history of fair(certainly not the just kind) rulers. the Mughals as far i remember seeing them in documentaries and paintings were fair and the British were definitely fair skinned. So maybe the people always associated the colour of your skin to the class of society you belong to. And as always people wanted to move up in life and in society and hence wanted fair skin. I've noticed that the brahmins are well fairer than the non-brahmins. Well this goes to just further my point.

This plague is everywhere and my family is no exception. After coming back from Chennai the very first comment an aunt made on seeing me was, "You have grown darker." The only response I could come up with was a distortion of the face faintly resembling a smile. It wasnt worth arguing.

1 comment:

ElizaG said...

Hi,
I found youre post really interesting- I am actually doing this topic for my year 12 major work. Seeing as you obviously have your opinions on this subject, I would really appreciate it if you could take the time to leave a comment on my blog, http://elizapip.blogspot.com/
and so then i would be able to use your opinions as my primary research. As I live in Australia, its pretty hard for me to see many of these advertisements you talk about first hand, so if you talked more about them in my site, and any personal experiences you have had on my site, I would really appreciate it. Thanks a lot!