It’s likely the reader of this article has already learned about Vaseline’s campaign for lighter skin among Indians and the like. Facebook’s app for light skin has sent waves of rage throughout the world. Google ‘skin lightening cream’ and one finds 926,000 hits at the time of this article’s publishing. Why is it that lighter skin equals wealth? Why does the passé racism of the 1960’s with African Americans now transfer across the globe, making millions for cosmetic companies?
Light skin is considered a privilege in South Asia and India. The caste system there does not take favor upon the natural beauty of dark skin. According to this site, Indian ladies are finding it difficult if not impossible to get a suitor. Fathers have a hard time getting a dowry from their dark-skinned daughters. Bleaching their daughters’ skin is the only way out of the financial plague of having a dark-skinned daughter.
There is approximately $500 million USD being spent in India per year to lighten the lovely Indian skin pigment. Chocolate, in a word, is not fashionable. It’s all about the vanilla, and it is a booming business. Indian employers want the light-skinned Indian men because they exude intelligence and higher education, even if reality doesn’t reflect that. In Bangalore’s Shopping strip, one can’t overlook the multitude of salons that offer to lighten one’s skin.
The process of lightening the skin often takes six weeks or more, making it a lucrative business because one has to go repeatedly back to the salon for more treatments. The procedure is not without risks and it’s not always permanent. However, the scars and emotional setbacks are permanent. There’s no guarantee that the skin will be evenly lightened as well.
Want to know how you will look after all of the false promises and expensive salon visits? Try out this Facebook application. This is what the highly successful social networking site has resorted to-racism!
But, if one prefers videos, check out You Tube’s Vaseline ad here.
The Modern Tribalist cries foul, shouting racism. I agree with that thought. Considering this being racism is especially accurate when considering that women and many men in India can be verbally assaulted and be victimized by hate crimes if she is dark. Only a fraction of Indians actually have light, “Western skin pigmentation”.
White or light skin women in South Asia are being raped so that they can make light skinned babies states Washington Post. Likewise, dating forums tout having the coveted lighter-skinned women, calling them simply “wheat”, “wheatish-dark”, and “light-wheat”. In a part of the world where arranged marriages is still the norm, women who possess the unlikely natural qualities of light skin have high “market value”.
Light-skinned models make $500-$1,500 USD in a single shoot in India states this source. Despite the hypocrisy of putting a light-skinned woman in Indian apparel, cultures all over the world scoop up these commodities and wares because of the representation of the preferential light skin. If a model is dark, she is called “dusky.”
Even in Brazil, the 2nd world’s largest melting pot to the US, light skin is rated as supreme. Newsweek has confirmed that there is a world-wide “black out” for dark models.
Every time one buys a product from a company that utilizes light colored models a majority of the time; or supports skin lightening creams; or parades light-skinned male/female models around in ethnic clothing that belongs to a dark-skinned culture; this racist trend continues. It’s unlikely that it will ever stop. Money talks and it has a very loud voice. People don’t want “ugly, nasty, dark people” in their photo shoots, their advertisements, their dating services, the trendy stores, and married into their families. This is truly a shame. A long standing bias against the color of one’s skin for thousands of years has truly narrowed our scope away from potentially wonderful, talented, productive people that continue to be in society’s shadows.