The race to become the fairer tone Marketer





Recently I was attacked, severely and brutally. The adversary was Varicella zoster. My unpreparedness acted as its strength and in no time I was at home nursing my injuries. Doctor prescription stated I was knocked out in the bloody first round, that too by chickenpox. As the days progressed, the rashes grew bigger and covered bloody everything on my body and my self confidence took a holy dip in the municipality water. 


When you are secluded in a room with nothing to do, you philosophize And when I philosophise, I literally suck... my brother’s words. So here I was philosophising and thinking about the people, whom I knew, who were not born with a clear or in Indian terms... fair skin. Those seven days gave me a reality check about those who had some kind of problematic skins from day one of their lives. I started about the Indian’s obsession with fair skin.

Previously I rarely gave any importance to TV commercials but now I started to notice a trend. In print, TV, radio, billboards, everywhere and anywhere, where a consumer could be present, advertisement always have a fair skin model for selling anything. The only ads where I saw some dark people were the ads of skin whitening creams. And they show two types of people: one with dark skin, the other with fair skin; they are sitting on a beach. The former tells the latter, “I am unlucky because of my face”. Pat comes the reply, “Not because of your face, but because of thecolour of your face” and throws him a cream. A whitening cream. A few moments later, the first man is shown several shades lighter and with the girl he wanted.

Check one of the matrimony ads: 

"Sindhi Kshatriya, fair, handsome, May '86 born, 5'8"/75kg, well educated, owns gold business. Seeks proposals from fair, graduate Marwari girl.”


Dr. Susan Sridhar, the Dean of Media Studies at Hindustan College of Arts and Sciences, Chennai, is well aware of this phenomenon: “The obsession with fair skin is being called the ‘Snow White syndrome’ in India, a market where sales of whitening creams are far outstripping those of Coca-Cola and tea.”

Based on a survey published on their website, Vaseline Healthy White claims that, “8 out of every 10 women in India believe that fair skin gives them an additional advantage in Indian society”. They also stated that, “Women today believe that if life was a beauty pageant, fair would take the crown” 

Not surprisingly the Indian whitening cream market is growing by a rate of almost 18 percent a year. According to the country’s largest agency, AC Nielson, the market will be worth an estimated $432 million. And with the Indian middle class expected to increase 10-fold to 583 million people by 2025, it looks as if things will only get better for the fairness peddlers.


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