Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Fair and handsome?

I have just seen a piece on BBC News 24 about a cream sold in India called "Fair and Handsome", and the television adverts that go with it.

It seems that people in India have had a problem with dark skin since time immemorial, with ancient remedies to lighten the skin.

This echos with me, I have to say, because when I was young I did see a psychiatric patient of Afro Caribbean decent trying to wash the colour off. What is more my late father was most amused on hearing some loony Labour councils wishing to replace "bah bah black sheep" with "bah bah green sheep" on the grounds that when he was in Africa, the darkest shade of black was called green.

Then there are those who obsess over tans, fake tanning creams and the like.

So, lets get this straight. People of dark skin are trying to become whiter, whilst those of the whitest skins are trying to get darker.

I don't see political correctness as a solution. I see discussion as a solution.

So there we have it. People discriminate, regardless of their own skin colour. There is no point in getting up tight and holier than though. We need to talk about these things and how nuts they are.


Anonymous said...

In modern world everything counts whether it is face, body, appearence or smartness. We men also have right to improve all above and if a cream like Fair and handsome cream for men is helping us to boost our confidence, then there is no harm in trying. Why hide from the fact?. I think BBC has done a good coverage.

Anonymous said...

I think you need to have a look at pickled politics he did awhile ago.

cherie79 said...

I suffer from a skin condition which causes brown marks on my face, hormone related. For 20 years I bought a cream called Fade Out which worked perfectly well with 2% active ingredient. This ever wise Government decided to ban this ingredient as some black and Asian people were using creams with massively more than 2% resulting in some terrible skin damage. I could no longer buy the original Fade Out and of course the marks came back. Fortunately I had a sympathetic dermatologist who gets me a prescription on a named patient basis. This comes from America and costs about £60 four times a year. The joke is the dangerously high content creams are imported from Asia and Africa and are freely available in any big city. As usual nothing is thought through, I was costing the NHS nothing before and the law made no difference. Sensible or what.

dipika said...

I’ve seen BBC news on fairness cream related discussion yesterday. There is a blog where I’ve found a video link of BBC News site. You can also go through that link and see what they’re telling on Shahrukh Khan and fairness cream. The commercial of Fair and Handsome with Shahrukh has already been aired. I think nobody would force you to use this cream. If anyone finds any interest to get fair skin he can use it.

Colin Campbell said...

When I worked in a Vietnamese refugee camp in the Philippines, the Vietnamese were very careful to cover up, especially if they were bathing. There was a very real perception that fairer skin people were more likely to be resettled quicker. This type of association of fairer skin people being better pervades many Asian societies.

Anonymous said...

I read a few articles on the whole fair and handsome issue in which there was a whole concept of people in India wanting to be lighter because they have been ruled by lighter skinned people like the British/Aryans/Turks/Iranians blah blah blah. In Europe alot of people who are "too white" try and get a tan to get a little darker. Indians try to get a lighter. I just feel the preffered skin color is somewhere in the middle. Not too pale like some Europeans, and not too dark like most Indians. I mean, even amongst black people, the light skinned black women are considered more attractive. Myself, and most of the people I have asked, they don't like women that are too white, nor do they like women who are too dark. Just like alot of men dont like women who are too fat or too thin. A nice body with a few curves are liked by most men. So I guess that is why Indians want to get a little lighter and Europeans want to get a little tanned. I am punjabi, and my Mother is persian background, so I have a mediocre complexion. I don't have to worry about getting tanned or buying fairness creams ;-)

Smita said...

I'm a girl from India and very well aware of Mr.Shahrukh Khan's popularity and might in our country. Yes, it is in alls right to look good but, what does it have to do with being 'fair' is beyond sanity. Even in his forties, Shahrukh Khan is considered to be the youth icon. The men and women of our country, who are 'unfortunately' dark-skinned, finally gained confidence when Shahrukh Khan gained popularity (as he was the first dark-skinned, commercially successful actor of the Indian Film Industry). They thought if a dark-skinned boy could be the heart throb of millions...they too can be successful in whatever field they choose to be in. And now, here he is, to make a few cheap bucks, singing and strolling around selling a feign fact that you can be anything if you are 'fair' as opposed to being exemplary of having a dark complextion and still making it big.
Irresponsible people like Shahrukh Khan and many other actors like Priyanka Chopra
(who also endorses a fairness cream for women) have no shame in sending out such messages which fuel the stereotype of 'fair is beautiful' in a country with many different skin colors and all being ineffable in their own way. It is only 'fair' that the chemicals used in these creams should be used to do only what they are meant to do, reduce scars and marks and NOT lighten skin tone.
For people who have never been to India and know little about it, the word 'marriage' comes along with the verb 'arrange' over 60-70% of times. Women are rejected on the basis of their skin tone several times like nothing else but just their skin color matters. It has taken alot of effort by some erudite people to eradicate this issue completely but, these unpardonable acts of people like Mr. Shahrukh Khan are like a snake of despondency which is crwaling on our society and scarring the 'fair is lovely' tag on the forehead of our social order .
I believe that nor should just these actors apologize to the people for participating in such rubbish activities to make money but, also pledge that no one in the industry should endorse such products which takes our country two steps back.