Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Black or white?

I always knew fairness creams have a huge market in India but when you attach number to hypotheses, it can give you a completely different perspective on things.

According to retail audits conducted by one of the largest market research agencies in the world, the market for skin care products in India (such as fairness creams, anti-septic creams, cold creams, moisturizers, cleansing milk etc.) is above Rs 1350 crores, out of which the share of fairness creams is approximately Rs 700 crores!!!

If this doesn’t show how obsessed we are with fair skin, as a nation, I don’t know what would!

This is the quintessential ‘colonial hangover’. Guess the British have left an indelible scar on the psyche of Indians. But more than the British I would blame us. India is growing by leaps & bounds, Indians today are highly educated and have traveled the world. We’ve been exposed to people of different skin colors, cultural backgrounds, languages etc. Yet we have not been able to break free of the notion that light skin is superior to darker skin.

Sadly, I don’t know if we ever will be able to. What I do know is that it has only re-affirmed my belief that Indians, as a people, are one of the most racist people in the world.


Moonshine said...

Its very uncanny... we were talking about fairness creams at work today.. all of us

Some of the ads show dark girls.. and say that they wont be able to get any good match.. and then they show a photo of a fat dark bald guy as the only guy a dark girl can get...of course once she uses the product, all gora guys start running after her!!! Its terrible.. ppl buy it too.. many matrimonials talk about "fair" brides wanted... they never mention how their son looks like!!!

There is a person who i heard about.. who wanted a bride who looked like Madhuri.. now if the person himself looks like Hrithik Roshan its still understandable!!!

And now there is a new market developing of products for "dark - underconfident" men!!!!

Its strange but why does darkness connote underconfidence?

I think my message as big as your post now... so will stop!! :-)

Scarlett said...

The fairness cream companies are obviously very smart. They're just playing on the psyche & the insecurities of Indians. When there was too much furore over fairness cream ads...about how they portray only fair women getting good matrimonial matches, the companies switched tactics & made fairness creams an aid to career enhancement and/or improving ur prospects in life...girl wants to become a cricket commentator but can't because she's dark (& therefore underconfident + no one would like to watch her on tv), so she uses fairness creams & becomes a successful cricket commentator...or girl goes for a job interview but is rejected because she's dark, comes back after having used fairness creams & gets lapped up by the interviewers. These ads are ridiculous but I get there are enough suckers for them in our country!!
If there's a ban on ads for cigarettes, I think there should definitely be a ban on ads for fairness creams. Cigarettes harm people at an individual level, fairness creams are harming the collective psyche of an entire nation!!

Princess Stefania said...

I think I'd like a ban on advertisements. Most advertisements play upon people's insecurities and there's no trick dirtier.
I once saw an ad for anti wrinkle cream- I forget the brand. It depicted a young carefree woman who was stopped with the question "Do you really think you've escaped? Look again."
And encouraging someone to look for flaws in themselves- that's a horrid thing to do.