Saturday, December 27, 2008
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.