The Problematic Surrounding Fair and Unfairness in India
by Myriam T on October 18, 2015 - 5:02pm
In the article written by Arti Panel and posted on Huffington Post on August 16th, 2013, “India's Ugly Obsession with Lighter Skin Hits Close to Home, Too,” the issue about fairness, especially in India, is addressed. In the article, the author mentions that she has always been fascinated with fair skin ever since she is young. She grew up with this specific view of beauty so popular in India, as well as in other Asian countries, which is that beauty means fair skin. The influence of her surrounding added to this inferiority complex that she was experiencing when young, in addition to the influence of the media. Media is bombarding people with ads of lighting products such as Fair & Lovely cream (in India). This product can be found in shops in shower gels, face creams and even vaginal washes. The author also mentions in her article the campaign started by the Bollywood star Nandita Das called “Dark is Beautiful,” which goal is to stop people from believing that a person's worth is measured by their skin's fairness.
This complex is a consequence of the influence of the media and of the popular views and beliefs in the culture. As mentioned in class and in the course notes, children exposed to such views of white skin tone in media start seeing whiteness as the norm. In fact, as the author mentions, she became so fascinated by fair skin when she was a child that she even imagined how her skin would look like if it was all lighter after having taken off Band-Aids. This article is a good example in showing and explaining the issue related to fairness. As mentioned by the author at one point, even if people with dark skin tone are not bombarded with Fair & Lovely ads as it is the case in India, they are still exposed to magazines with the same image of fair skin.
Panel, A. (2013, August 16). India's Ugly Obsession with Lighter Skin Hits Close to Home, Too. Huffington Post. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/arti-patel/indian-skin-lightening_b_3763946...