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Switch on to any music channel during prime-time and one cannot help but notice the plethora of commercials that are focused on one pivotal agenda – how to get a fair skin tone.
From skin bleach, skin whiteners to moisturizers, sunscreens, face creams, soaps and even talcum powder! Yes talc, how absurd but yes talc. Add to it the men’s range of skin whitening commercials.
Message is crystal clear – dark skin leads to low self-esteem while fair skin represents beauty and success.
Oh Lord, imagine the tremendous pressure this exerts on a teen, a preteen or an unmarried girl who is hammered with this perception, again and again, every single day. The entire generation would grow up with this perceived notion that those with dark complexions are inferior to the fair ones.
The big question is, is advertising the sole cause behind our obsession with fair skin?
Before you say an easy yes, let’s check a few facts
Priyanka Chopra was turned down for a role recently because of her brown skin tone, she admits that it affected her. But the fact remains that she has achieved everything that she set her mind on, despite the color of her skin.
So hell no, these ads should not be blamed alone for spreading racism. It’s in our own mind. We are a generation that has grown up with specific notions about skin color – that fair skin is desirable and dark skin is a problem to be corrected. It is we who are racist towards people from our own country.
Racism runs deep in our own blood and this is getting expressed in our consumer behavior. The advertising industry is no-doubt exploiting the opportunity like never before. For the survival of this multi-million dollar industry, now they depend on ensuring that Indians continue to desire fair skin. The corporate advertisement in India is leaving no stone unturned, they are broadcasting this message quite effectively and aggressively.
Dark skin is not a crime and fair skin is not a prize. It’s just melanin!
We want to hear what you think.
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