Like most countries Indian TV ads are a pile of crap. Here, though, it is the beauty industry that needs to hold its head in shame. Not only are the ads rubbish, many of them claim to make your skin lighter. We are told this by famous two-dimensional Indian actresses and beautiful, glamorous zombie-like models whose natural skin colour are near-white anyway.
It is no coincidence that many Bollywood stars are fair skinned.
Quick history lesson here: the Indian caste system has favoured lighter skin as a sign of wealth and importance. Lower castes like Dalits are generally darker, whilst Indian upper castes have or aim to have lighter skin. It is no coincidence that many Bollywood stars are fair skinned.
Bit of a generalisation, but that’s about it in a nutshell. Surely this is a hang-up from previous generations, one of those embarrassing notions like the Robinson Golly that, with progress and enlightenment, would eventually be snubbed from history?
Not so in 21st century India. No, advertisement after advertisement are making claims that their products will make your skin a lighter colour. Manufacturers like Vichy and Vaseline (yes, that wholesome family brand Vaseline) promote the image of fair-skinned perfection as if being dark-skinned is something to be ashamed of.
The only people who should be ashamed are the advertising executives who let this pile of shit go out to millions on TV. No wait, the ad execs and the TV stations. No hold on, the ad execs, the TV stations, and the advertising industry standards commission. Wait a minute, don’t I mean the ad execs, the TV stations, the advertising industry standards and the manufacturers? Hmmm, perhaps now I’m starting to understand exactly how much this ridiculous notion of being ‘fair’ is conditioned into the Indian psyche.