Sunday, October 7, 2007

India's / Indians obsession with fair skin

Anyone who grew up in India would be very well aware that Indians are much obsessed with fair skin.

This is true especially in the marriage market ( Sorry, couldn’t find a better word to put this).
If we look at any matrimonial sites in India all of profiles would self-describe them as fair, wheatish etc… but none of them would call themselves dark. But, majority of Indians are brown rather than fair.

Though fair skin is always considered best in the north, South Indians obsession with fair skin had increased a lot in the past 30 years. I can see this transition transparently in my family. My grandma never acknowledges fair skin, blonde hair as beautiful but that is the not the case with my aunts.

This might have something to so with the heroines South Indian film industry as well. Most of them are fair and this seeds the mentality that fair skin is beautiful. And on top of that most men would want their groom to be fairer as they want to have fairer kids.

To me, it is your own freedom to be obsessed with fair skin, but I think you shouldn’t discriminate the darker counterparts.
Not to mention the fact that outside of India we are all brown Indians.

Fairness creams in India are sold to a greater extent and have untapped potential( I believe last year they were sold for about $200 million). In the past few years, not so surprisingly many Indian men have started using them as well.

I think dark people in South India are comparatively better off than dark people in North India.
Simple reason would be, there aren't that many dark people in the North and you would be the odd man out in the group of fair skin.

Anyway, I believe discrimination against dark skin people will aggravate the fair skin obsession and companies like UniLever or sure to make a huge profit out of it.