Silent Whispers

Chasing Illusionary Butterflies!

Complexion Issue

Posted by Mrityunjay on April 22, 2009


I hardly watch television programs so whenever I get the chance I try to make it as productive as possible. Few finance channels followed by channels related to movies, music and discovery, NGC etc. However, sometimes more than the programs I like watching advertisements for the heck of it. That gives us a better idea of what actually is working with people and where all the corporate are trying to hit the mark.  Few themes have kept bombarding us over the years. And yes, they are disturbing.

Let’s talk about these ‘Fairness creams’. I can’t really recall since how long these fairness ads are into existence. Starting from fair & lovely to ponds and several others, these ads always emphasize upon the ‘urgent need’ of getting fair and regaining our self-esteem. Really? Why, we Indians are so obsessed with the fair complexion? Personally I never had such experience but I remember finding parents of my mates telling them ‘Gora/gori ho jaa warna koi tujhe poochega bhi nahi’, ‘kaale logo ki shaadi nahi hoti’, ‘usko dekh kitna fair hai aur ek tu hai’ etc etc. 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! Have you ever noticed the basic plank of fairness ads?

Girl uses the cream and all of a sudden she finds love of her life, gets promoted and becomes the most affectionate object of every person surrounding her existence! Well, does it really happen in life? The most ironical aspect is few of my female friends with dusky complexion do have this fascination with white skin.

“Oh, God, How fair she is! Look at her complexion! White skin, pink cheeks and red luscious lips! I wish I had those features!”

Those are some normal expressions I have heard from few girls! It makes me feel sick. I try to discuss it but I get a perennial response, you won’t know it buddy because you are fair! Ok, I agree but then I can’t really blame them for this ‘inferiority complex’! It was instigated and propagated by their family, friends and society in general. Whatever little was left; TV ads came to the party and are leaving indelible scars on innocent girls’ minds. Somewhere behind this phenomenon, our attitude towards western things also shows up. Whatever the west has, that must be good.

Why can’t we simply accept our true colors? Why this fixation with fairness? We Indians are supposed to have wheatish complexion. Fact is as simple as that. If most of the north Indians have fair complexion then blame it on amalgamation of different civilizations, rule of foreign nationals, climate and initiation of hybrid breed. We Indians have unique complexion that is not only attractive but different as well. We can very well resemble to people of Latin American countries and tell you what, Latin Americans look damn appealing.

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. One of my roomies was applying Fair & Lovely for last several years under the illusion that it will make him more desirable among girls. He used to put on this cream and stand in front of the mirror and look at his face with such pathetic expressions that it became very hard for me to suppress my derogatory smile! Unfortunately, girls never even noticed his so called brighter face!

What is more disappointing is finding guys and girls with notion of inferiority complex just because of this complexion issues. Ok, I agree, you never got the desired support from your family or your parents kept comparing you with sh***y looking but fair girl next door but now when you are educated enough with tons of experience and knowledge at your disposal then why the hell do you even care about this crappy issue. Trust me; a dusky complexion will always score a point or two over fair skin in terms of raw appeal. A Salma Hayek will always be more desirable than a Kate Winslet. In Indian context, who can beat the simple and earthy appeal of Nandita Das, Deepti Naval, Smita Patil or Zeenat Amaan? Think yourself and please feel proud of your complexion!    

:-  Image courtesy

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6 Responses to “Complexion Issue”

  1. advertisinginindia said

    See, I agree with what you have said. Fairness is almost like an obsession with Indian men and women. This has been prevalent since generations now and dusky or dark can never be beautiful for majority of the Indians. Its like this – slim women are desirable to men then healthy ones right? its just that – fair women are desirable than dusky ones – I am just thinking loud? – whatever the preference – it is an individual choice so we cannot say that people who want to be fair should cultivate some sense and be happy with their dusky skin because if a short skirt is desirable, girls will tend to go for that. Just similarly, boys and girls just want to be something that is desirable and I know that in doing so they are being prey to all these ads which claim big big things but fail to fulfill it and you know if these creams would really make someone fair na, i had no problems with their ads but because they are giving false promises and then cheating the consumer is what is troublesome because millions of individuals are wasting money behind these fairness creams….

  2. Mabel said

    As you said, your credibilty would have been more, were you a shade closer to dark 😛 But then it would have been interpreted as “khatte angoor” also,..!

    So, finally this is a very personal issue. But in this modern world of commercialisation where the individuals actually try to package themselves to increase their market value, the personal preferences are replaced by the pathetic images created by the external world. N, very few can actually swim against the tide, till then badal do apni kahani creams ki jai!! 😀

  3. […] Ok, about racist attacks on Indians, I saw an article by Jug Suraiya and I could not help myself getting inspired from it to scribble few lines..err..Paragraphs! Somewhere, we Indians keep finding ourselves in racist row. Remember, our very own Shilpa Shetty emerging as new anti-racism icon! Well, the moment she became a part of ‘Big Brother’, a sort of history was created. Few tabloids even compared her with deeds of Mahatma Gandhi who stood against the might of white Africans a century ago! I would rather not dwell on merits of that comparison. The point to be noted here is what we sow, we reap. We just can’t crib about being the victims all the time. Finding me unreasonable? Tell me, aren’t we racist? Yes, we are one huge breed of racist ourselves. We define racism on the basis of black and white. Black is considered as inferior whereas we always give white color that superior feeling. I have already talked about a certain dimension of this aspect in complexion article. […]

  4. Looney Bins said

    Believe it or not, skin lightening was popular amongst the African American community in the United States back in the 60s. You know what they say the grass is always greener on the other side. It’s true that dark skinned people try to lighten their skin, but don’t forget that countless light skinned people,also, try to darken their skin as well by frequent tanning. Similarly, I have straight hair and I always want to curl my hair and my curly haired friends are always coveting my straight hair. Frankly, I think beauty is not determined by skin color but by facial features. Look at sexy gals like Bipasha Basu, Halle Berry, Angelina Jolie, Aishwariya Rai, Eva Longoria, Jessica Alba. A rainbow of colors, but all beautiful facial features.

  5. A said

    its almost like saying “dusky women look more appealing and far prettier than fair ones”..its a reverse prejudice..still prejudice nonetheless.

  6. […] on Witchcraft- Reality or Il…rose on Racism Row : Are Indians Reall…A on Complexion IssueAmal on Know Me!Amal on Bad Girls Finish FirstAmal on Shahrukh’s Detention: Kuch […]

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