My friends were discussing the other day about an alliance that was fixed between a boy and a girl. Description of the boy: Software engineer, earns six-figure salary, currently in US, (a little fat and baldish, so what!). Description of the girl: FAIR complexion, tall, slim, good-looking, has a job, God-fearing, domestically trained. These are the normal details that are discussed among the families and friends about a boy and a girl if a matrimonial alliance is fixed. For a boy, complexion or appearance is mostly not much of a problem. But, for a girl? However educated and accomplished a girl is, complexion and physical features still play a major role in the matrimonial column. I happen to fall under the 'fair category' (yes, fair complexion), and so, I am usually compared to not-so fair by my relatives. ( Come on, Its not fair!!!)
India is a tropical country with a spectrum of skin colors. We see wheatish, fair, not-so-fair, brown-skinned, dark-skinned people in many parts of our country. This masala of skin colors has been aptly captured by the fairness creams market, who knows the Indian psyche's weakness to run behind the oh-so- fair complexion. What started as a simple fairness cream guaranteeing you bright complexion in a few days has diversified in many ways. Though the target is primarily women, fairness creams for men are also there. Want to win first prize in a competition? Use fairness cream!! Want a 'brighter' future? Want to soar greater heights? Want to pass a job interview? Want to win the beauty queen contest? Want to have boys running after you? Want to remove dark under-eye circles? There is only one answer for all this and you know what that is. If a person switches on TV, he finds that the ads for fairness creams is run throughout the day for many number of times. Models shown in these ads are already fair, just shown in a dimmer light who are then shown in a bleached lighting after using the cream!! In one ad, two girls who 'use these fairness creams' are compared. One has become fairer because she used the cream everyday and not once a while like the other girl. (Hey, if you use these creams daily, our products will sell faster!) Advertisers, why don't you show a real dark-skinned lady or a black(African) woman becoming fair after using this cream for a few days? Did you try endorsing Micheal Jackson for this product?(He was suffering from vitiligo and lupus -wikipedia) It is too late now, but, nevertheless, you can try some personalities whose parents are of mixed racials(black and white). Why go blah-blah over these companies alone? We have gullible population who seem to believe in all these make-believes and run after these products which in turn keeps this industry running.
It is not that white, 'fairness sickness' is confined to India alone. All through the history and even now, Whites(predominantly Westerners) are always seen as superior and the blacks and brown-skinned people were looked upon as inferior and treated as slaves. Even though the situation has improved a lot today, racial discrimination and racial violence keep happening in many parts of the world. Why is the human psychology more inclined to the white color or complexion? We have fairy tales full of 'white heroines', soft and gentle in heart. In film industry girls with fairer complexion are preferred, though we have male super stars like Rajnikanth and his son-in-law who are dark in colour. We have very few black actors who are Oscar-award winners, and Hollywood industry looked to be playing fair when they gave Oscar awards to Halle Berry and Denzel Washington (both blacks) in the same year a few years back. And now, we know that the current First family of America who is entirely black. Things look to be changing on the surface, still......