Our culture has been obsessed with fair skin since we don’t even know how long. If modern-day fairness creams advertisements are anything to go by, we need fair skin for getting the perfect job, becoming successful or even to get a good groom.
A few days ago, three students from the University of Texas joined forces to start an online campaign to question colorism across the world. Called “Unfair and Lovely,” it has quickly grown as hundreds of women come forward to share their experiences.
In India, these conventions have been questioned through campaigns such as “Dark is Beautiful” by actress Nandita Das. In 2014, the Advertising Standards Council of India banned ads that perpetuated the notion of dark skin being inferior and undesirable.
Yet, numerous beauty brands continue to run aggressive advertising campaigns for products that will lead to lighter skin tones. This may be the reason why the campaign has resonated powerfully with numerous women of South Asian origin.
Historical wrongs, not just in India but around the world, have been committed in the name of skin color, and it is the job of a sound public policy to rectify them. But as a society, we need to start seeing the person beyond these physical trappings.