Saturday, December 27, 2008

Lucky Girl!

I went into one of my pondering sprees yesterday, after watching one of the dumbest commercials in television history. Even if I was the fattest guy on earth with the equator for my waistline, I would refuse to get married to a girl who cant, to save her life, say anything beyond “Hi”…irrespective of whether she’s white, black, red, green or blue.
It’s weird how companies mint money out of prejudices. Infact, these fairness product ads tend to play on double prejudices: a) the girl just HAS to be fair and b) she always has to end up being an object of male affection in the end. Interestingly, the choice of careers for these practitioners of the “power of beauty” has seldom gone beyond modeling and aviation hospitality, barring that one ad where the girl becomes a cricket commentator and an object of male gaze.
At this point, I remember the “Lucky Girl” ad and thousands of others where the girl becomes a “winner” in life from the quintessential dark “loser”, only because she happens to be fair. I’m not fair, and neither is my mother. But then, nothing has really stopped us from becoming what we are.
These ads tend to play to popular stereotypes-the hard fact, even today, is that people in the country still think a beautiful woman is meant to be fair, which is amazing in a country of brown skinned people. Loose terms like “dusky beauty” has only lead to the exoticisation and fetishisation of the dark woman and has contributed majorly in making her “the other”.
I never thought I’d say this, but I actually respect Aishwarya Rai (Bachchan, if you may) because she turned down an offer to become the Indian face of a global fairness cream giant. These little things are important because people in the country need to realize that a woman is more than just a colour.


farustar said...

I totally agree with you. Although i am fair skinned, I find it quite annoying when people tell me "nice colour". It's not an achievement that it should be praised.

Astraeus said...

i know i just read about this today in cal times...
i respect her for this too.

btw nice to see ur back to blogging..

lets meet up whilst ur in cal.

Neel said...

If blood will flow when flesh and steel are one
Drying in the colour of the evening sun
Tomorrow's rain will wash the stains away
But something in our minds will always stay
Perhaps this final act was meant
To clinch a lifetime's argument
That nothing comes from violence and nothing ever could
For all those born beneath an angry star
Lest we forget how fragile we are

sujaan said...

nice to read something in ur blog after a long time..true that such prejudices do exist...and sadly these ads simply make it worse...

little boxes said...

@F:thanks for agreeing
@A:sure thing :)
@N:thanks.lovely quote
@S:i've been blogging since i came to cal :)

Revived Angel... said...

i agree with you too..n these dumb headed commercial ad makers deserve to answer how they wud lik to categorise Mother Teresa.May be just 'ugly' for not being one of the "fair-and-hence-lovely" women..

~Moo-lah Buz!nezzz~ said...

I mean,cmon.... colour is not what we all have.....

Phoenix said...

great point to bring up!! kudos!!

Pongy Papaya said...

that's the whole construct nah.. amader deshe fairness is a virtue , like honesty . and the fair & lovely people cash on these 'indian' sentiments & make money.
school e ekta meyer ma amar chobi dekhe bolechilo 'kalor opor mukh ta bhalo'. so that's the whole point, like you said the dusky beauty bit.. this 'kalor opor' is always there. perhaps it stems from an inferiority complex coz we are coloured ourselves.or its like being gaga over what you don't have yourself,jemon bideshi ra beach e shuye tanned hoye, funnily amader bhetorer kalo take shada korle prokrito lovely howa jai.. alas! shei cream ta makhar mentality amader nah. baire tai toh shob..
& i don't see how being fair makes you a cricket commentator if you can't tell between mid on & silly mid off? hilarious!
commercial chobi te hoyto obhinetri howa jai but wtf about ''power''?
there was an equally sad one.. which had the lucky girl tag line.
i feel sorry for people who sell such ''dreams''

Pongy Papaya said...

but again its a two way process. we welcome these endorsements.. after all we hail from the ''besan makh nahole biye hobena '' construct nah.. even piggy chops r ta was sad.. with saif & neha dhupia..

Dreamweaver said...

Very well written post- and you've hit upon a very vital issue.
What's the big deal about being fair? I'm somewhat fair too, but does it matter, in the end? How I'm different from anyone else depends on personality and characteristics, not skin colour, surely?
It's amazing how shallow people can be, and even more amazing how some people can use that shallow-ness to make money.

Soumya said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ibanov, Sir Rekaf said...

I can never associate the word respect with Aishwarya, no matter what.