Let’s face it. We are a racist nation. Within the country people are discriminated against on the basis of region. Mallus can’t stand Tamilians. South Indians are looked down upon by the North. But in each of these demographics, one thing remains the same. Obsession with fair skin. This mad drive for fair complexion has its roots in anglophilia and casteism. Fairness products are the only ones who have made money out of this and they go to any extent to state that white is beautiful. One of the biggest brands in the country is called ‘fair and lovely’. I am waiting for the day when brown bread will be banned because it is not ‘lovely’
Something that is unbearable [apart from their very existence] is the publicity material of fairness products. Most of them say that to get noticed by the opposite sex you need to be fair [the lightest shade of brown that Indians can attain]. A life partner? Love? Fair complexion is what you need. Among these ads the ones which are infuriating beyond measure are the ones which say that you need to be fair to get a job, to pursue your passion. Do you know how many jobs you can get in India just by being fair?
Yes, that’s right. Please marry, father says to daughter. Daughter not too happy, wants to work. Now father not happy. Friend gives Fair and Lovely. Daughter becomes a fairer shade of brown, tells her father that she wants to work. This time father agrees. Yes, they just said that a woman will have a career ( any job, no description) if she is fair.
Everyone remembers the Genelia D’Souza ad in which she does the family proud by being a cricket commentator. People flood to her for autograph and all that. It ees bery bery naaice. All you have to do is use a fairness cream.
No surprises there. Indian film industry has been doing its role of promoting fair skin for ages now. Even then this ad tells us that to be an award winning actor you have to be fair. Only idiots think that to be an actor one needs to know acting. No. Sorry peeps. It’s your complexion that matters and you will clear all auditions if you are that. Okay?
[One which wins cases]. One of the fairness products once showed a courtroom. A young lawyer wins the case because she becomes fair by the time of court hearing. Imagine the horror of learning law and all that to be a lawyer. Why would anyone do that if you have fair skin, ya!
Fairever Fairness Cream once told us that that’s what will change your takdeer. It is funny how every woman who wants to do something in life sees a fairness cream right after they think of a career. If they don’t see it, a friend will show it to her. She will go to learn medicine. What would have happened if she hadn’t seen the fairness cream ‘by chance’? The universe will just conspire to deny her the job she wants, I guess. How exactly, I have no idea. I am sure nobody does.
Cyclist and Model
That is because once you become a cyclist and medal winner the world [a man] can’t help but notice how beautiful you are. That will make you the brand ambassador of a lot of products and you will be able to buy your mother and really mean brother a nice bungalow.
The list is not complete and you know it. ASCI, Advertising Standards Council of India, in 2014 laid down some very sensible guidelines for fairness products brands. It said, ‘advertising should not directly or implicitly show people with darker skin, in a way which is widely seen as, unattractive, unhappy, depressed or concerned. These ads should not portray people with darker skin, in a way which is widely seen as, at a disadvantage of any kind, or inferior, or unsuccessful in any aspect of life particularly in relation to being attractive to the opposite sex, matrimony, job placement, promotions and other prospects.’
Wait a minute isn’t this exactly what all fairness products are doing in their commercials? Why are you not following the guidelines? Oh. I get it. You don’t know what it means. Guidelines are things that you should follow. India it’s time to hang your head in shame admitting your casteist, racist mentality. Not fair, not lovely.