Fairness creams and bleach… hot or not?

25 Nov

Fair and lovely, a popular Indian fairness cream

Some days ago I was watching an ad for Indian fairness creams. Ok, this kind of creams has been in the market for several years and this product has been world widely used ( also in Suriname) by people from the Indian origin. Before seeing this promo I never realized that dark skinned people hardly get the chance to succeed. Or is a fair skin the perfect tone to enter the best places successfully?

In the online edition of an Indian newspaper I found an interesting article on obesity. The writer said: “I feel that in the matrimonial market, the obsession with ‘fair skin’ is more a crime than seeking a slim person as a life partner. As far as I am aware of, dark skin is not a potential health hazard, and even more important, nothing can be done about the skin tone that one is blessed with.”read more

Another article says that even nowadays no marriages take place between the so-called ‘fair’ classes of people and the dark skinned lower classes. The colour conscious in India is so miserable that people look down on the dark complexioned people. Indians believe that fair skin is a special gift of god and it becomes the most important topic in homes where they have girls of marriageable age.

A columnist of Time.com asked why Bollywood actors are usually light-skinned, especially from Southern India. Some of the responses were noteworthy. “You’ll find every girl in India trying to make herself more fair-skinned than she is by every cream possible,” observes Arun Mani. “Hence all the skin care products in India are designed to match the mindset by advertising to give a lighter skin. I am pretty sure most people in India don’t know what the word ‘tanning’ means Mothers don’t let their daughters out the sun, lest they will get dark skins. And guys in India always think the basic requirement for a girl to be beautiful is that she should be fair! So white-skinned people in India think they are good-looking. If you look at south Indian movies, the actor might be dark-skinned; but the actress will be light-skinned.” Another Indian said that there are dark skinned actors, for example in the South Indian movies, but but they are made up to look fairer than usual due to the age long discrimination against dark skin in favor of light-skinned ‘superior’ races that invaded and settled down in India throughout the ages. here’s a link to the article

Even in Suriname, we have the dark skin complexion. People buy these fairness creams and bleaches to get a lighter colour. To my knowledge, the dark skin complexion (or should I call it colour discrimination?) came along with the British Indian immigrants in the 19th century. Although the time and people’s viewpoints are changing due the and I’ve seen light skinned guys marrying dark coloured girls, but unconsciously they are guilty to this. For example, mothers prefer a light skinned bride for their sons and guys also prefer to have a light skinned girlfriend. Even children grow up with this complexion. Some weeks ago a twelve year cousin and I were going trough the photo album of a recently married couple. The girl is dark skinned and the boy is very much lighter than hers so my cousin made the comment that the newly married girl is darker than her husband. Why people never say anything about the man whose wife is light coloured.

More and more people in Suriname get in touch with these Indian cosmetics. And more and more people use it, but do they achieve what they want? No! If so, not for lifetime. Their (over)use may result in (incurable) skin disorders. “Most of these creams and ointments prove the proverb `All that glitters is not gold’ true… the promise is yet to be tested scientifically for their efficacy and safety,” said Neelima Arun Kshirsahar, member, committee for pharmacovigilance formed by the World Health Organisation (WHO). She also said anti-aging and fairness creams are basically drugs that enjoy the liberties given to cosmetics. Another reason for not using these fairness and bleaching creams is that Vitamine A works through a biochemical derivative called retinoic acid. But the amount in which the acid is produced through the reaction is too low to bring about a change. On the contrary, it may harm skin by causing skin irritation and other side effects, which limit its use, specially in those having a sensitive skin. Similarly, chemicals in fairness creams interfere with melanocytes (agents responsible for skin colour) and the reaction may be toxic in some cases (read more). So will bleaching the skin or using fairness creams help you to overcome these complexion? Think about it!


4 Responses to “Fairness creams and bleach… hot or not?”

  1. Menno Heetveld 03/02/2010 at 21:43 #

    Reading Kavita’s blog it turns out to be that people with a dark skin complex have an obession with the need to have a white skin.

    It seems to be that in a country like India having a white skin is a sign of economical prestige.

    That is peculiar knowing that a white skin was the skin colour of the Englisch coloniser during the suppressive colonial rule.

    • fotovita 08/02/2010 at 00:51 #

      I do agree with you, Menno. I still read articles about the fair skinned -filmindustry in India and ‘market’ for brides. I think one should do a research on this in Suriname.
      Thanx for commenting!

  2. Kasey Jolie 12/02/2010 at 14:28 #

    Thanks for writing much experience a person has giving public speeches, you can easlily bet your hard earned money that public speakers of each and every level create a speech outline before giving their presentation.


  1. 2010 in review « Fotovita's Blog - 02/01/2011

    […] Fairness creams and bleach… hot or not? November 2009 3 comments 3 […]

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