Lost Love and Fair Skin

An advertisment of Pond's White Beauty face cream is being aired on TV nowadays which shows a guy dumps his gf and 3 years later she comes to know he is a celebrity now and engaged with another celebrity girl. The ex-gf sees an ad of the product which claims to give "a white glow" (read: become fair skinned) and starts thinking...rather decides to buy it. For part 1 of the story watch the video. Now in part 2 the fiancee is shown to be a short tempered girl who cares more about her fingernails than the gifted diamond ring. The ex-gf uses this cream and becomes all fair and glowing and the guy comes to her flower shop (by chance) and can't stop ogling at her. She is still in dilemma whether to tell him that she still loves him.
Now my point is do these Pond's guys intend to show that an ex-bf can be won back by becoming fairer??? If that is so then should a guy who apparently dumped you for your looks be wooed back??? Even if he didn't dump you on basis of looks , still should he be wooed back at all??? that too by becoming fairer n all??? What is with this prejudice against the dark skin in India when we are on the receiving end of racism?? I think the British rule made the Indians fascinated with white skin and we have not got over that yet. All dark or wheatish colored girls are made to think as if they are some misfits and have to apply all sorts of creams or soaps to become fair to get married or an audition or guy or whatever. Infact now guys are also being targetted and urged to become fair to woo girls!!! In arranged marriage being fair is a must criteria for the girl, no matter how the guy looks. Being very fair is a bonus. The qualifications and the nature of the girl are hidden or compromised upon after seeing her shining beauty. In fact I suspect even in an affair the girl may use such creams to keep her guy happy lest he leaves her for some more "greener pastures".
This prejudice and discrimination irks me no end. My elder sister is wheatish colored whereas I'm fair. Since childhood I've listened to many comments on the difference which has made me very annoyed with people who advocate fair color. Even when I was 7 yrs old or so, I gave a piece of my mind to some 70+ old men in my mother's village where we had gone for vacation. They had dared to say "how different Niru's (my mom's name) kids are in color" or words to that effect. I have seen my roommates desperately using these products. For what? for whom? Someone who will judge you and accept/reject you by your looks? So much effort for that? Does being fair give confidence? Helps you win laurels?? No I don't think so. I admit being fair does give an edge due to all the pre-existing prejudices and morons who judge by a person's looks but if you have it in you no one can stop you for getting what you want. Be it clearing a job interview or getting your guy or winning an Oscar. Check out Halle Berry's Oscar acceptance speech.
As for winning back ex-bfs I don't think a jerk like the one shown is that much of a trophy and if it was so easy as made out to be in the ad then there wouldn't be so many heartbreaks in the world. You know the ad says "sometimes life gives you a second chance"....and the second chance is cosmetic product????? what #@#$&%!
Part 3 of the ad is awaited. First time I'm waiting for a sequel in an advertisement and curious to know what will they show ultimately.


P.S. Remember that the most beautiful things in the world are the most useless: peacocks and lilies, for instance. ~ John Ruskin, The Stones of Venice

30 comments:

Arvind Iyer said...

The predilection for fair skin has nothing to do with the British. We (if I am allowed the liberty to speak for Indian males :) ) like fairer skin tones over darker ones.
Now whether the girl hinges her ego, her personality, her self-esteem to skin tone depends on quite a few other factors. And relationships based on the looks of a girl...ahh...totally different topic.

I used to get annoyed by fair skin cream ads. But I realize they are over-promising like quite a few other products - like pens, shampoos, candy or vehicles. Its just that its related to the skin, so we are a bit touchy about it. (pun intended!)

Joel said...

This ad is totally lame. Do you think this would happen in real life? Uh..! Companies now have forgotten the basic ideas on how to advertise their products... They are coming out with such idiotic, meaningless ads.... yet some people for it.. :|

Sakhi said...

I don't know what a person would do with a very fair spouse/gf/bf (whatever applies)if the person's nature is not good. U cant stay with a person who day in and day out make your life hell and still enjoy beng with him/her just because of fairnees(of skin!).

Somebody has rightly said "beauty is skin deep". Its the persons whole perosnality and nature which give him/her the essence...

Prajeesh said...

Well written. I think this is a serious issue in Indian society.
I have dark complexion and my sister is very fair. I have been through the kind of situation and comments (from elderly), that is expressed here. We have to set an example to our elders by valuing people by their achievements and character.

Prerna said...

//still should he be wooed back at all???// definitely not.Long term and stable relations cannot be guaranteed by looks alone.Secondly beauty cannot be judged by skin colour. I think the mentality of people is changing as far as obsession about skin colour is concerned.You can find a large number of not so fair skinned successful heroes and heroines in the film industry and modeling world these days.The transition is slow but it is definitely happening.

arvind1187 said...

he he..silly ads...why a girl would want back his ex boy freind who jsut dumped her..she would probably get a better guy :)
but jokes apart yes what u mentioned is very much true...people do get discriminated here in india on the base of the skin color..and thats more in north india because majority of people are fair..
i wonder if this would get any better if not get worsened..
as for the stupid ads..we should just see them adn move on..most of the ads make no sense these days..
do they ?? :P

Daroga said...

First of all... the first comment is by Arvind and not me , so you might want to correct that.

The prejudice is true and widespread and it doesn't help that from early childhood girls are forced to try to be as fair as possible by , more often than not, their mothers.
It's all about how one carries herself, and that really makes the difference. It's time that the guys stop judging a girl from fairness of her skin and the 'fair' girls stop using their color to advantages. (Please don't tell me that girls do not reject guys who are not 'Tall, dark, handsome and rich')
Not everyone is a saint, and not everyone is a criminal either.

The youth, guys and girls alike, have to rise above this attitude.

Reema said...

@Arvind Hmm u have a point there though I think the fascination for the white skin increased after the proverbial "gori mem"

@Joel Its just the actors that are benefiting from such ads be it of such products or cold drinks.

@Sakhi yes what u said is so true. Still fair skin is demanded in matrimonial alliances.

@Prajeesh welcome to my blog! yes I agree. We have to start a new trend. Keep visiting!!

Reema said...

@Prerna yes the transition is happening but then again film n fashion world is very different from the real middle class India that lives in small cities and towns. In fact as i researched the subject, I found that these fairness creams are now a big hit in Mali n such countries.

@Arvind yes its more in North and Central India. Some like us ignore these ads but there are more who are influenced by these. Especially the poor class buy the cheap n same looking but fake creams available in "thelas". As i said i have seen many of my fiends use these creams.After all they do good business thats why they r able to hire such actors for a commercial!

@Adarsh Oops I corrected it. //the 'fair' girls stop using their color to advantages. (Please don't tell me that girls do not reject guys who are not 'Tall, dark, handsome and rich')// I think u meant smthg else?? cuz if girls like dark guys then no need for the guys to use fairness creams as advertised.and if u r talking about the tall,handsome n rich part then i agree that some girls do reject such guys who dont have these qualities. The change has to be brought on both sides. but first of all such ads should be banned.

Daroga said...

I used the phrase 'Tall,Dark and Handsome' and added Rich to it as per modern times.
Well, I don't think that banning the ads is feasible. If everyone, individually, acts rightfully, then such ads will fall flat.

Canopenner said...

Halle Barry kinda makes me mad,

Why does it need to be about blacks and whites?

Why draw those lines at all?

She "wants to be treated the same" yet she stands up and throws in my face how different she is? I dont know how many times I have heard "its great that such and such a thing happened to me, this is for all the black people of the world!"

That is just as racist as anything any white person has ever said.

And if you think Im wrong, think of the reaction a white actor would get if he stood up and said, "This isnt just about me, its about all THE WHITE PEOPLE IN THE WORLD!!!"

everyone in the room would go silent and then start boo-ing and jeering about how racist that person is(and rightly so). Yet if a non-white person says it they are APPLAUDED for the exact same statement except instead of the word white they insert whatever race name they are.

(there have been plenty of blacks who have won oscars too, why does halle barry act like she is "breaking new ground" or something? Its because she is a racist.

list of them here :

filebox.vt.edu/users/clhaynes/blackoscars.html )

If race doesnt matter then make it not matter. Dont stand up and make your award winning about race. These are individual accomplishments. NOT accomplishments for your race. And they only reinforce the idea that other races are somehow inferior to whites because their accomplishments are somehow harder to achieve and worth more when they do achieve them.

Last time I checked we were all part of the human race. For the poor white person born in the ghetto life is just as hard as for the poor black person born there. The rich black father pays just as much to put his black kid through college as the rich white man does for his.

whites and blacks(and all those in between) are actually exactly the same. Lets start holding them to the same standards then shall we?

How about this one:

Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions; fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, heal'd by the same means, warm'd and cool'd by the same winter and summer as a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die?

I dont want to site the source(Im sure everyone knows it anyway) but it appears that since 1598 AD the world has not changed that much.

This message has yet to sink in.

People are people. Same same same same same. Let us accomplish things for either ourselves or for everyone, Let us not accomplish them for a faction. Because that only makes the divides between us greater.

I think I might have gotten off topic, here is the comment I shouda left-

-Those creams and such are dumb, I agree.

LOL

:^)

Shefaly said...

@ Reema: The preference for fair skin does not have much to do with the British rule.

Practices that emanate from socio-economics gradually become prejudices as fewer and fewer question their origin, logic or continued applicability.

In the hierarchical society, that is India, those, who worked manual or outdoor jobs, had darker skins. Those, who did not have to work such jobs, had fairer skins. Fair skin therefore signified wealth and social desirability.

Also remember, most manual jobs were reserved for lower castes and I am still amused by people in India, who say, upon discovering someone is lower caste, "oh but she is not dark, how come?".

Much as the Pond's ads are weird - and I saw them this time too - they address an ingrained preference in the Indian psyche to flog their product. All legal and above-board and if people buy the product, well, more fool them. No?

This brief post may interest you, too:
http://laviequotidienne.wordpress.com/2007/09/25/the-colour-of-vanity/

Reema said...

@Adarsh hmm maybe u r right.

@Robert :) No ur whole comment is welcome n nice. And point taken. But the thing in India is we belong to one race but yet we discriminate among ourselves on basis of skin color!! the fair skin is a dream for us. Its projected by cosmetic companies as desirable. and I'm questioning this thinking and attitude.

@Shefaly //people in India, who say, upon discovering someone is lower caste, "oh but she is not dark, how come?". // This is so true and a good example. U r correct. These companies are all just making money while taking advantage of such prejudices in the Indian psyche.I'll check out ur post surely.

Anonymous said...

The real reason why fair skin is valued in India. India, being a tropical country where the climate is rather hot and sun shines brightly, the working class has to toil in the sun. Because of our pigmentation which is result of longterm exposure, the skin tans. The elite which does not have to go out in the sun, remains fair or light skinned. So it is a question of priveleged vs non-priveleged or elite vs the working class. Clans which have been living in hot and humid areas of India since long time have their pigmentation adjusted to the climate genetically. Of course, racial superiority theories are nothing but crap.
Just the opposite happens in the west. Here sun exposure is limited . Over a long period of time (hundeds of years) genes adjust accordingly, accounting for the fair skin. The elite goes to tropical parts of the country and gets a tan.
The working class cannot afford to do so and hence remains pale. Result, tanned skin is considered superior to fair/pale skin!!!!

Reema said...

@Anon Welcome! U r quite right and infact ur point is somewhat in line of Shefaly's views. I have moved to WP. See u around there!

harshasrisri said...

Nice point to ponder over. i am thinking of saying something like this at any of my presentations - "Ladies and gentlemen, this is for the people with 'FFFFC198' as the skin colour" (courtesy:the increasing use of gadgets in life). ;)

Buh! such sick creatures! i was born with a white skin. and i have become considerably dark. And somebody asks me, "Oh my God! how come u became so BLACK" thats right! BLACK!(Direct Senseless Translation from Indian languages).

Can't help! Rather, i should be glad that someone else is feeling bad for me. thank god! I've got people who not just share my feelings, but borrow them completely! :D

Hail all the skin colors! (And mine a bit more... ;) )

Reema said...

@Harsharishi Welcome! //"Ladies and gentlemen, this is for the people with 'FFFFC198' as the skin colour"// Lol :D :D thats a gud one. Yes hail all colors!! Hey i have moved to WP. Keep visiting me there!!!

harshasrisri said...

@reema : thanx... actually i'd been to the WP blog too... but have to see more of it...

PS: it is HARSHASRISRI and not HARSHARISHI... no probs anyway... jus wanna make sure tht u r right next time! :)

Reema said...

@Harshasrisri Oops i m so sorry!! thanks for seeing that blog :)

Asad's said...

i like dusky more than fair as far as gurls r concerned!and many guys would feel the same way,which explains the popularity of celebs lyk bipasha or koena...but these admakers try n xploit those old viewpoints to their benefit whenever they can...thats the problm

SaTaN said...

Yeah this mentality of people sucks !!!!

Reema said...

@Asad yes thats true.

@Satan It really does. welcome but I've moved to wordpress.This is my blog
http://opinionsandexpressions.wordpress.com/
See u there!

Renu said...

I whole heartedly agree with u, seen this prejudice at close quarters.I always value the person for his qualities not complexion as it is god given--I wouldnt say gifted, as its no a gift.The people who have this bias are only shallow people.

Reema said...

@Renu Thanks for agreeing with me and sharing your thoughts. welcome to my blog but I have moved to WordPress.
This is my blog
http://opinionsandexpressions.wordpress.com/

Indian Home Maker said...

India was ruled by the Mughals before the British, both were light skinned. The obsession with fairness is a sad fact of life in India. All matrimonial ads demand a fair girl :( Nice post, I find the advertisement lame in every way. We need competitors (like regular moisturizers without fairness 'proteins') making ads that mock these ridiculous ads.

Marina D'Souza said...

Very true . I dont know why we are a nation obsessed with fair and lovely. Its time someone sued the ad creators :)

githa said...
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githa said...
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Vyazz said...

I do suppose that you are aware of the fair and lovely for men as well. What can I say, we have a prejudiced country.
Now even the guys have become aware of their dusky looks.
I sometimes really feel that Indians suffer from a massive dearth of self confidence.

life goes on... said...

good one.. media is misleading the people..