Fair and Lovely?

Ok guys, time for some seriously fucked up, but not uncommon, shit.

So, we have this face cream that’s pretty popular in my country called Fair and Lovely, which I had mentioned in Dear Indian Society-Kudos to you bastards! People have been buying it since the beginning of it’s existence, and the advertisements have been on TV as far as I can remember. And these ads are very common, it comes on every 5 minutes during a regular commercial break, and it goes like this-

A girl who has a darker skin tone, has a pretty sad life, because of her lack of confidence, due to her not being fair, and then on applying Fair and Lovely, she gets the confidence she needs, along with a job, and sometimes, a pretty hot dude, who happens to be just as fair-skinned. Oh, and also, here’s a fairness meter that you can use to check your transition from black to brown to peach and then to vampire-like white.*cue eye roll*

Could that get more generic? That’s like one of those hair-removal ads that show girls trying to remove the hair on their arms and legs by applying the cream on their already hairless and smooth arms and legs. Where’s the logic?!

Not the actual point of my post but I wanted you guys to understand the ridiculousness that is this ad. So, here comes the next obvious question-

Why are Indians so fixated on fair skin?! Maybe not my generation, but the majority of the oldies, and some really ignorant and racist dipshits who are younger, think that having a fair skin makes you beautiful.

Is this only in India?! Is anyone else anywhere facing this kind of stupidity?! Do let me know!

Some people see this really fair girl and go,”Wow, she’s got a nice white coloured skin”. Well, hello there, technically speaking, white isn’t a colour, but rather, a spectrum of all the colours that we observe in the visible electromagnetic spectrum. And secondly, last time I checked, brown’s a colour too.

Also, the innumerable warnings I’ve got over the years about how I shouldn’t go outside to play because I’ll only get darker, and getting dark would make me very ugly. I was a tomboy, so my natural response was “Fuck that! Imma go play me some ball and shit”

Imagine having to grow up thinking that a dark skin made you ugly. How DISGUSTING is that? I still see parents yelling and advising little girls, forcing them to use these weird ass creams with equally screwed up names.

Another beautiful question that I had been asked by an annoying relative a few years back: “Why are you so dark? You should get a facial done every two days so that you get a fairer skin”

Ya’ll know that I wouldn’t take that shit lying down, so I asked her if she wanted me to jump into a vat filled with asbestos, and then walk through a prism to see if a freakin’ rainbow comes out of my torso. Needless to say, that kind of shut her up. Whew!

Of course, the women of this country aren’t taking this form of discrimination quietly. So many of them embrace their skin, whatever their colour, and we’ve had a million awareness campaigns about throwing away that one standard of beauty that we have. I know that’s a big step, but it’s not only awareness that is required. We need people to ACT and SPEAK and SHOW the others how it’s done!

Another thing I’ve noticed among some of the women here is that they say certain colours, whether it’s clothes or accessories or make-up, they don’t “suit dark skin”.

You see, I have a wish, that one day, all the dark-skinned girls wear WHATEVER colour that they like, WHENEVER they want and HOWEVER they want and totally SLAY!

And, rant completed!


WBG :)x


63 thoughts on “Fair and Lovely?

  1. theonlysup says:

    U see most of the ads these days are senseless.. Take That idea IIN concept for example..
    B) I don’t agree that if u have fair skin then u r beautiful.. There are many women with dark and medium fair complexions but still they look gorgeous.

    Fairness should not hamper ur confidence level ..

    Liked by 2 people

  2. rebbit7 says:

    I am aware of this practice happening in places like India and Southeast Asia. It’s horrible. While people in the U.S. are worrying about getting tanner, it’s insane that the opposite is happening on the other side of the hemisphere. I believe this skin-whitening is based not just on colonialism back in the day, but also on what our society currently bases beauty standards on, aka having lighter skin. Personally, skin color is irrelevant to how attractive you are; if you’re of darker skin, you’re still lovely! Clothes can look good on you no matter what. Really, I hope this practice stops soon; it’s really sad that such industries are marketing/earning so money from people’s unhappiness with a distorted perception of beauty. *smh

    /end rant

    Liked by 3 people

    • That Weird Brown Girl says:

      You know what’s even worse? People still buy these atrocious products, since they’re still in the notion of “Fair is beautiful”. Ok, I can agree that the generation of today couldn’t care less about this, but you should hear what the older generation say about this. I swear, the mind of this sexist society only keeps moving backwards.
      And rant completed 😛

      Liked by 1 person

      • rebbit7 says:

        I am aware that India is a sexist country, from what my Indian friends have told me. But does it also translate over to perceived notions of beauty in men? Are men pressured to be light-skinned as well, or is it not a problem for them?

        I suppose the older generation are more inclined to believe that “fair is beautiful,” because they were more affected by European colonization “back in the day,” in my opinion. Sadly, this ideal still influences much of Eastern culture today: in South and Southeast Asia, heck, even Africa! Really, it’s a shame. 😦

        Liked by 2 people

  3. SabahBatul. says:

    This is really good!! U speak for all us girls in India!
    The level of hypocrisy in these ads.. I don’t know if u have seen this new cream -Glam up’s advertisement….u would die laughing at the double standards of the add.
    But I really liked Doves’s new ad campaign. It speaks for all of us!
    And I totally agree with what u say..and I don’t think right now any other country has the ‘fair…est of them all!’thing going on as India does.But we are learning. And atleast our generation has overcome this lie by now. And hopefully all of us would slowly overcome these insecurities sowed in us by our elders from our childhood,amd embtace our beauty! 😊
    P.s-sorry for the longg comment! 😛

    Liked by 2 people

  4. VictoryInTrouble says:

    There was just a controversial Chinese ad to this effect. Maybe you can look it up. A black man gets “washed,” and comes out lighter, hence “better.” Disgusting.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. mocookies20 says:

    I’m not dark skinned but I think any dark skin person just automatically slays. Just, don’t even question it, they were born to just, slay.♡
    (//is latino so I feel like I’m using slay wrong or I think that I know what it means)

    Liked by 2 people

  6. thegreyeye says:

    Question is from where the cream is coming, take the brand olay, I see it lying in many stores in Europe, and many fairness cream, tan removal cream etc. So, definitely the problem has wider geographical boundaries . Secondly, in India and some places, Uv index is very high at daytime, and if you go out for long, u get a chance of having skin cancer. So, maybe the idea of not going out in sun, came early for the reason they noticed it is bad for health. Later some people twisted it or with time the real reason gone unnoticed.

    Liked by 2 people

    • That Weird Brown Girl says:

      Oh trust me, they don’t exactly hide or even try to be subtle when they say to not go out when it’s goer sunny. Maybe not now, but I’ve heard and also been said to, and I quote “Don’t go out unless you want to turn black and ugly”. Is it a problem in Europe too? I didn’t think it was since skin colour isn’t exactly a problem over there? It’s mostly rampant in south east Asian countries.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. zaheerah (semi hiatus bc of exams) says:

    Anti-blackness is quite huge in loads of Asian communities. I’m not sure where it originated from (maybe from what rebbit7 said) but don’t get me started on my Bangladeshi family – I use to have distant aunts who always comment on my skin even though I’m actually not that dark, its only because my siblings have lighter skin from my mum when compared to me. 😩

    Liked by 2 people

  8. LG says:

    “It isn’t serious for men,”
    Really, brown girl? It is far more than “not serious”…skin colour is the foremost fallout of the seriously shitty sexism in India. “Tall dark handsome” versus “slim, fair, beautiful”, The dark Krishna versus the fair Radha, The dark Rama versus the fair Sita. Had it been the reverse, would the Ramayan had happened? Rajini Kanth versus Aishwarya Rai. Would Rai be a Bacchan now if she were brown girl?

    Women who wear western clothes are “asking for it” while men, even the beggar on the road struts around in pants, which became “Indian” suddenly.

    Women without the dot on their forehead are a disgrace to our society, while men have long since given up wearing their chandan, because well, they “Work”, you see.

    Don’t get me started….I just got chided by my misogynistic father that I have raised my daughter poorly because I let her strut around with “open hair” and bindi-less forehead. If you hear an explosion from the Chennai side, you may be sure it was caused by me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That Weird Brown Girl says:

      As much as I agree with you on the various “fallouts” that you’ve just mentioned, I might have to point out a few things:
      a) Have you seen those matrimonial ads? Ok forget that, have you seen the actors in our very south Indian films? They’re pretty proud of their dark skin, which they boldly proclaim. And furthermore, men aren’t chastised for their skin colour, despite the number of “fair and handsome”s running out and about. So, yes, I stand by what I said: it isn’t as serious for men, as it is for the women. Do read the sentences carefully, bc that’s mighty different from what you’ve quoted.
      b) don’t even get me started on the apparel problem, because each thorn in our society is so vast and deep, that it is an individual subject, in and of itself. One post/societal drawback at a time dude! (Another of many landslides yet to come)
      c) I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been chided by your father, and if you are planning on exploding something, let it be verbal, because words have power.
      Peace :)xx


      • LG says:

        Honey, I was agreeing with you on your “it is not serious”…In fact, I was saying “it is more than not serious…it is a compliment for men to be dark, and that is a serious fallout of misogyny”….I suppose I didn’t word it well, thanks to my rage.

        The only saving grace, if you can call it that, is that I saw something called “fair and handsome” in the store once, right next to “fair and lovely”…

        When I explode, there are words all over the place…I just don’t explode often enough.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That Weird Brown Girl says:

        Well, I sensed the tone to be hostile in my sudden anger. I apologize for the misunderstanding 🙂
        Maybe you do need to explode often, the outlet feels better, also if there’s punching involved, but, Oh well.


  9. LG says:

    Oh, and here is something interesting. About 30 years ago, there was a Tamil movie where the heroine is dark and thus faces many insults, and she cries all the time and sings to Krishna “Oh lord Krishna, you are dark..why don’t people hate you?”. Fast forward a few decades, Rajini kanth is gallivanting with a (fair) woman who is mouthing the words “Black is my favourite color”. Beat that, I say !

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Untraveled Routes says:

    Stupid obsession with fair skin!!!! I totally agree with you and I hate these ads. Few days back I just saw some Hindi News Channel covering an event hosted by Fair & Lovely, they were like how ads have changed to suit the modern girl. I was like hello!!! nothing has changed they are still propagating Get FAIR GET SUCCESSFUL!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. allyheynow says:

    This happen in many countries. I don’t know who made the standard of beauty a typical fair skinned skinny female but it has to stop. The discrimination towards people of color or not a “standard” size and body is sickening. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. If people are taught that fair skinned and skinny is better than everything else than that’s what they will believe. We need to change the mold starting now. Everyone should teach their children and future generations to accept all kinds of people.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. reesertshadow says:

    Idk…we have some pretty well documented prejudices here in the USA regarding skin colour, but I’ve never noticed any products like that being marketed in a really noticeable way…

    Plus, for those of us here who are white/fair skinned, there’s a weird split between those who want to be “tan” and go to tanning booths and get spray-tans, etc, and those whose skin is too sensitive, so they end up staying out of the sun because it’s just too painful.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. The Shameful Narcissist says:

    Nope that shit totally exists in America, too hardcore. I’m black and while it’s not always explicitly stated, we hear terms like “good hair” and other such nonsense to go along with it. Hollywood doesn’t help with casting either light skinned and/or mixed people or ones with more Eurocentric features. That’s one I’ve gotten. “Oh you’re just like us just darker!” Um what? Soooo you’re saying I look like a wuite person in black face? Wth is wrong with you? I actually just task an article today about Ghana banning skin lightening creams. The “white is beautiful” banner flies all over the world 😡

    Liked by 3 people

    • That Weird Brown Girl says:

      The image that Hollywood puts forth about how America is totally about “accepting yourself” and “the colour of your skin don’t matter” is completely misunderstood, am I right? Because some of us over here, back east, we actually know that people are more open minded in the West. You’ve just opened my eyes, thank you! And go Ghana! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • The Shameful Narcissist says:

        Oh it’s absolute horse shit. They talk about that, but it’s only acceptance if you look a certain way and/or conform to a certain type.

        If you look at the prominent actresses of color they’re almost all thin, lighter skinned, and with more Eurocentric features. Zoe Saldana, Stacy Dash (not as prominent anymore but really vocal and literally clueless like the movie she was in), Halle Barre. All of them fit that particular type, but then you have Leslie Jones (who’s in the new Ghostbusters) be driven off Twitter in tears because people were sending her hateful messages and Serena Williams, the world’s best women’s tennis player is compared to a man. You can technically “do what you want,” but the backlash and consequences for not being a particular type of beautiful are heartbreaking.

        Liked by 3 people

      • That Weird Brown Girl says:

        Over here, it’s been taught(?), or rather taken for granted, that having a fairer or whiter skin makes you better looking. What’s worse, we’re all Indians, and we have such discrimination within ourselves. It’s pathetic. But now, women have spoken out and there are many campaigns (like Dove, for example) where we speak out against one definition of beauty. It’s a big deal and hopefully, the whole lot of us stand together and make a bigger impact! And what you said about “do what you want but bear the consequences” is so true for so many other things, especially things that pertain to women. But you know what? We stand together, and we fight together and hell yeah we do what we want!

        Liked by 2 people

  14. thisfishlikestoread says:

    I feel your anger. We Indians are bunch of racist asses. There I said it. That’s the truth. Even in celeb culture, earlier who used to be dusky are now lighter. What chemical nonsense is that shit. The cakey makeup and such dumbass products thrive on insecurity.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Shrushti says:

    I love this!! Recently one of my relatives came over to our place, on seeing me the first thing he says (after visiting us after years!) Is “oh she’s starting to look good, remember how dark she used to be?” To which my grandma says with pride ” ya ya she has natural white skin, you can see that now that she doesn’t go out in the sun much”. And literally I just feel like I could shove that talk up their arse tbh.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s