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Fair and Lovely row : A big change, Or is it?

Diyasha Choudhury

What is most ironic is that the world’s most judgemental nation is also the most diverse. Yes you guessed that right, it is India we are talking about.

Indians are a brown race but that unfortunately does not stop them from showcasing white-supremacist tendencies. Indians love to divide. They have even divided their fellow countrymen on the basis of their skin colour.
Indians have skin colours that when arranged together may give the impression of a shade- card, unlike the simple black-white segregation of the US.
Pardon my morbid sense of humour. My goal is to make you understand how ridiculous Indian bigotry is. All forms of racism are disgusting but Indians go an extra mile.

I have come accross instances where women/girls have committed suicide because they have felt undesirable because of their skin colour. And the worst is how our popular culture feeds into this bias.
Bollywood has over the ages drilled into our minds that only thin, extremely anaemic women/girls are attractive. Now, there seems to be a ray of hope as many people are standing up to the toxic beauty standards that Bollywood has set.

 

Another part of our daily lives are television commercials. A study from 2013 suggests that every 2 in 10 commercials are related to fairness creams, especially for women.
The infamous Fair And Lovely cream by Unilever has honestly had the most repulsive set of advertisements which went on to convince women that they could achieve everything as long as they were “fair” and “lovely”.
This had sparked up controversies in the recent times. Many women, fortunately, have had the sense to stand up against the manipulative marketing strategies of fairness creams instead of falling prey for them.

After the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020 due to the murder of George Floyd, the US-based company Johnson and Johnson has announced that it no longer wishes to produce the “clear and clear” range of fairness products. The fairness products cause insecurity and the feeling of inadequacy in women. They pave a path for people to feel superior because of their skin colour and discriminate against others.

The 22 year old Chandana Hiran from Mumbai started the first petition against fair and lovely. In the past few months, a number of petitions have come forward from a lot of people. Hindustan Unilever has consequentially decided to drop the word “fair” from the cream’s name(that is available in Asian stores in Asia and other countries) and contribute towards creating skin care products” inclusive of all skin colours”.

There are many skeptics questioning the move and arguing that the demand for such products have not gone down. But you can choose to look at it as the first ray of sunlight, seeping in through the cracks in the age-old colourism that Indians are sunk chin-deep in.

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