How Fair Is Fair

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By Nikita Rana

Companies like fair & lovely can’t sell us such useless products unless we reject our own skin.

Few days back, I came across a campaign ‘Dark is Beautiful ‘. Promoted by unconventional actress Nandita Das, it aims at ending fair-colour obsession among Indians. Why whenever an article is written about her, she is referred as dusky? Why the first thing we notice in people is their colour? She has been photo-shopped many times by magazine publishers to give a fair complexion. How can you be so confident despite being so dark?-is a routine question she comes across. Being asked by directors to lighten her tone by applying make-up because her role is of an educated woman, she took an initiative to end this vicious circle of trying to be fair, the widespread belief that only fair is beautiful.

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As soon as a child is born, this disposition is passed on to him. And if the child is born dark, from neighbourhood aunties to grandparents everyone will pour in with their so called nuskas(remedies). Fairy tales to saas-bahu serials to cinema to advertisements this idea has been propagated by entertainment media to a great extent. The situation becomes worse when biggies of Bollywood like Shahrukh Khan come up with such illogical ads (Fair & Handsome). Advertisements have shown darker women as inferior, diffident and less talented. And as soon as they apply fairness cream they become blessed with all the talents which they otherwise didn’t possess- singing, dancing to name a few. The logic is that become fair-get a job, bag a movie, clear an exam etc.

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No matter how much we deny, the underlying fact is that we Indians are obsessed with white Barbie dolls trash. From Cinema, to workplace to marriages this obsession is deep rooted in our culture. Boys educated at top world class universities shamelessly reject a girl by saying, “oh she is too dark!”

The pressure of being fair is now not only suffered by women. Rather men are also making palpable efforts, growth of men fairness creams being the evidence.

There have been cases of racist attitude in the world-America being in the limelight recently when the Coca-Cola’s multi-lingual commercial became the most-talked about topic.

Coca cola’s recent ad added another instance of racist tweets flooded by twiidoits similar to last year’s flurry of hate tweets greeting the newly crowned ‘Miss America’, Nina Davuluri. The America song is sung in nine different languages: English, Spanish, Hindi, Keres, Tagalog, Senegalese French and Hebrew, mandarin and Arabic in the ad.

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Instead of feeling proud of the diversity that prevails in America, hypocrites came up their own stories and theories calling Coke Un-American-communist-terrorist and what not.

It is ironical to see that in this world dark skinned women use skin lightening creams and in the same world light skinned women use tanning beds to get darker. There have been instances where people mock at fairly white people and call them pale and pasty and even tell them to tan.

What I feel is that companies can’t sell us such useless products unless we reject our own skin. Stop trying to emulate the photo-shopped divas rather accept oneself.

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