By Saranya Iyer
Advertisements these days make a mad rush in entertainment industry. From Body creams to moisturizers, from soaps to cleaning lotions, all these ads show how our dark skin could be shed and a fair skin can be worn. Every odd commercial promotes fair skin. I have grown up seeing these commercials which showcases a fair skin model endorsing the fairness creams or body novelties.
The situation is quite similar for men too. Gone are the days when fairness products were restricted only for women. Nowadays, fairness creams and lotions are available in the market well enough to entice and attract men to use it and get themselves a good girl of their choice. The fairness territory invites and allures men with a broad smile.
But the sad part is baby ads. I have never ever seen any dark skinned baby getting promoted for baby products. Those little innocent ones are always fair. And their cute little Bottoms which bounce when one touches are unfortunately fair. Why this situation has entered in our country? Why are we chasing fairness and forgetting that dark and dusky skin is most beautiful?
We are so much obsessed with fair skin. Is fairness that important? Is it the only factor to term someone as beautiful? If one is dark, then it means they are not pleasant looking, does it? When one uses instant skin lightening, there are plenty odd people in the west who stand below the sunlight and get their skin tanned. The tan skin which scores to dark and dusky shade is very attractive for foreigners. If this is what they are doing, why we are going so much gaga about getting fair.
Last year, a commercial for a vaginal wash was promoted as a product which lightens the woman’s private part. There are plenty of websites showing treatments to lighten the skin as well as newspaper columns offering
advice on these issues. This is like an insult to an injury. I have seen the history of baby products commercials. Every company portrays a cute little infant as fair. Their skin is nothing less than white. None of them had any of the babies with black or dark shade. Don’t we have enough reason to be happy for our skin tone? Does our complexion reflect an inferior image vis-à-vis the western world? The complexion is not all important but our level of confidence is what matters.
I know some of the head hunters turn down applicants as they look for candidates whose complexion is fair. Moreover, matrimonial ads too say that the boy needs a girl who is well educated, fair and good-looking, tall and etc. This is the progress of our country. We ape west in all forms but this imitation is very much bitter. In all sense, exhibiting babies with fair skin tone in commercials should not be encouraged as it
leads to gross discrimination of color tone.
Nandita das, Actress and social activists initiated a campaign called Dark is beautiful which has picked up very well in our country. It should get more support from public. This initiative was implemented way early in west. This has come to our country nearly after a decade which tells the sick state of our country. It is not only an obsession but also a prejudice which has been a driving factor for women to kill themselves. If pale skin is desirable, Lets boycott black colour entirely. Let’s not use black colour in our life anymore.
I would request advertisement officials to reconsider the advertisements and do not show
the infants with a light skin to endorse baby products. We love our babies no matter how
they look or dress. They don’t have to necessarily be beautiful and FAIR. As Nandita rightly
put, we will stay un-fair and beautiful.