Aishwarya and a million other dark girls named after her must all be returning to Fairness, or so the Lux ads are exhorting .

Why does Aishwarya need to return to fairness. She is fair to start with, isn’t that why the million dark babies are named after her.

 We live in a country with such great colour prejudice and hypocrisy to boot. We keep thinking that apartheid is there across the water in deepest dark Africa, but ask any Sudanese or Ethiopian student here what they suffer at the hands of us Indians as dark or maybe one shade lighter. We are awful. Don’t go as far as Ethiopia because that is a continent and world away. Ask any dark woman or person here what they experience and how much more dowry they would have to shell out to attract a male.

Examine the product. Lux is telling you the consumer of soaps and opera that this new soap has sunscreen built in. So what do you do once Ash suckers you in to buying her endorsed brand? Walk around with the lather and soap all over you in the sun to benefit from its sunblock components. It is entirely baffling how the sunblock in the soap can affect you, maybe you the consumer of fairness needs a few answers for a change.

 

Take this a step further, it is a known fact that lighter skins are more prone to skin cancer, melanin and melanoma not withstanding. So if you are dark you have ‘sunblock’ kind of built into your skin, the wondrous evolution and nature programmed you right.  Take the Lux exhortation. It is saying, hello dark is not good, return to fairness (presuming wrongly that you were fair to start with), now with our soap you will become like Aishwarya (who is not returning to fairness since she is fair already), and then to add insult to injury they are saying implicitly that you will become more prone to skin cancer since you are fair now and our sunblock rubbish will protect you. Come on guys give us a break. When will advertising agents start to tell the truth and stop sucking up to clients to use all their skill to sell some product we don’t need.

Simultaneously, serendipitously Benzer is showing a black man, ebony on the beach, the sun in mercilessly baring down on him and the copy is indicating that the forecast is sunny and the Outlook black in Benzer is cool. 

Palmolive show a beautiful dusky, honey coloured backless, bikiniless woman in the sun on the beach, the ad could fool you into thinking it promotes Mauritius or the Seychelles.

 While it may be true that 95 % of women polled think that fair is more beautiful, where do these attitudes come from? There is mythological basis but in a more convincing and contemporary way, the films, the media influence, with the stereotypes. It’s about time we looked at our attitudes with Nietschian hammers.

Photographically the Lux ads have been shot badly, Aishwarya is wearing the same bustier she wore last millennium, she is looking tired, like all the hype and Salman are getting to her. Palmolive is super and Benzer is Rafeeq.

Its time we the consumer demanded some fairness.