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Ban Worthy Products

Aditi Mittal, the much loved Indian stand- up comedian, actor and writer popularly recognized for her participation in the AIB Roast, if you have watched the quirky video of “Satth Rupiye Di Chai” I am sure you remember her; her comic yet serious take on vaginal tightening creams and the fad about bikini body attempt to awaken some realistic sense in the blind followers of media driven trends. Recently, Aditi comically lashed out against the positioning of the skin whitening cream, the very famous “Fair and lovely” on twitter mocking every bit of the selling strategy of the cream which very conveniently instills a sense of shame in every “Kaala” person in India. Being the brand to reckon with in the Indian market for removing the layers of blackness and subsequently adding the layers of success in the user, it has positioned itself the cream that brings you success and so you do not really have to worry about your qualification or any other skill that you possess. It is only the contribution of fair and lovely and other such creams which have made the Tatas and Amabanis of India so rich.  They used these creams even before they were born and now you see them ruling the world.

Okay I am not crazy, but this is how they promote these creams. How in the world is the melanin content of your skin going to determine your success or failure? Fairness of the skin is now regarded synonymous to beauty, courtesy our media and the skin whitening industry. The Indian society has accepted this norm with open arms for years now. The matrimonial ads are a testimonial to the standard of beauty that we adhere to with the requirement of “….Fair bride….etc etc”.

As Aditi rightly points out in her twitter rant, that more often these creams bring psychological damage rather than success, to the people falling prey to these ideas of success and beauty as propagated by them. The industry and society both pandering to the idea of fair is beautiful have not only created a huge market for themselves but in the process have created a target audience which lives with a very low self-esteem based on the color of the skin. We are trying to emulate the west and why should we stay behind in terms of skin complexion seems to be the mantra of the industry. What they do not realize is this whole affair sometimes leads to a bigger social stigma that has been associated with the darker complexion being considered lowly and not worthy of being appreciated.

Since India is on a banning spree so let’s hope that instead of ridiculous bans that the government is imposing, it soon bans these skin whitening creams and their shameless proposals of skin cards and guide to successful careers, marriages and lives.

On a “brighter” side, it is commendable that Bollywood actors like Kangana Ranaut and Anushka Sharma have turned down the endorsement of these products. I wish Yami Gautam soon finds another project and stops finding out if Fair&Lovely is the best skin whitening cream available in the world.

To those of you who have not read the Aditi Mittal’s twitter essay please go look it up and laugh. It will leave you with some food for thought.