Is fair so lovely?

This Sunday, perched on the window, sipping a steaming cup of coffee, I was skimming through the Sunday paper. The matrimonial section caught my eye. Believe you me, it’s hugely entertaining to read these ads in the matrimonial section, how people describe the bride/groom they want in as few words as possible and at the same time making sure it packs the necessary punch. And below is what I read:

  • Wanted a fair, slim and beautiful girl, educated and homely for our fair and handsome son, age 29.
  • Well educated boy belonging to a rich family with established business seeks alliance from a fair, attractive and modern girl
  • Mumbai based girl, 5’4”, very fair and beautiful, working with a leading bank looks for a US-based educated and good looking boy from a Vaishnav family
  • Bais Rajput, Pune, age 30, 5’8” journalist, 6 lacs p.a seeks a fair graduate girl. Contact..

And boy, was I surprised to read these things!

We might be in the 21st century, where a Sunita Williams is making space journeys and where a Chanda Kocchar is heading the biggest bank in the country but the ground reality is that nothing has changed really. There might be a constant backlash in some elite, progressive Indian circles about the obsession over the colour of skin. But a vast majority, if not openly then secretly, believes that white is beautiful. These seemingly innocuous ads are at their offensive best. While it’s understandable to want a cultured and attractive girl for marriage (to each his own, we are not being moral police here), what is really contemptuous is the fact that being fair is higher on the priority scale for many amongst us than being educated, skillful or interesting. It is as if, all my talents and achievements come to naught if I am not milk-white.

Then yesterday, while I was randomly surfing through the channels, the above theory was reconfirmed. I couldn’t help but notice the kind of advertisements bombarding our idiot box at prime time. Across the channels, all I could really see was advertisements for shampoos (promising me gorgeous mane so that I can impress that boy I am crushing on and who is oblivious to my existence), soaps (promising me fair, beautiful and fragrant skin so that I can impress that boy I am crushing on and who is oblivious to my existence), deodorants (promising me fragrant underarms so that I can seduce that guy I am crushing on and who is oblivious to my existence) and yes you guessed it right – fairness creams ( promising me milk white complexion so that I can impress that guy I am crushing on and who is oblivious to my existence). Ya ya.. I know you get the drift.

After a point my mind became so numb with overload of information about various creams that I couldn’t distinguish one from another. One cream urged me to look beautiful (read milk white) so that I can increase my chances of finding a better prospect, one threatened me to start using that cream with anti aging properties asap, lest it will be too late for repairs later. One cream also came with a fairness barometer that could measure my improving complexion through 7 days. And voila, at the end of 7 days (only if I apply it regularly twice a day), I will be Ms. Snowwhite. Even if I was chocolate brown before. The before-after transition is unbelievable. Now, do they really expect us to be so dumb to believe that? Apparently yes, if the sales figures of these creams are anything to go by.

Does the fairness cream actually hold the potential to change my fortune? Will the colour of my skin alone determine how successful I become in life? And hello, what is the definition of success? According to all these ads, success is met when I get to be with or marry that eligible guy because I am oh-so-fair now. So that’s about how much a girl can dream of. Looking fair and beautiful and landing an eligible guy is THE goal of her life. Career, passion, dreams, ambition are not for the fairer sex.

Our obsession with fair skin is deep rooted. The way our Gods and Goddesses are portrayed (white and radiant) has led us to believe that white-skin is superior. Also the fact that we were ruled by white skinned British for more than 2 centuries and who tried to establish their superiority over us reaffirmed our belief that white is uber beautiful.

To have a preference of skin colour to marry someone sounds disrespectful but it is still digestible (to each his own). But to let the skin colour be the only deciding criteria is downright hideous.

Here are a few pictures for a good laugh: (Courtesy Google)

That 7-day transition i was talking about

even, Obama -President of the biggest Superpower, is not
good enough if he is not fair

The captions say it all

Why should Girls have all the fun?


Okay, so you get what i am trying to say, right? I would love to see your comments and even interesting stories, if you have witnessed any around yourself. About fairness creams of course.


12 thoughts on “Is fair so lovely?

  1. Nice post. It was real, honest and very thoughtful; and the biggest thing it was funny. I do not have any such story to share here, as I hardly believe in any such things. But yes, these are the reality with which we have to live with. I am really not sure if this mindset will change in a year or two or may be in next decade. The truth is a person need to be either good looking or smart looking what we may term it, to get a good job or a good looking life partner. But still I believe people started realizing that, the color of skin is not the only thing that defines beauty. So yes, there is a hope for sure. 🙂

    • Thank you so much Arindam…I was collecting my thoughts and meaning to write about this for quite some time..

      There is definitely light at the end of the tunnel.. hope things will change soon 🙂
      Glad you liked it…

  2. Nice blog Zinal… It was fun reading… It’s feel sad to say that people are attracted to what is appealing to their eyes…

  3. Hey good one… Actually funny as well…. And may be these people just need to grow up……… And i bet non of these celebrities who come in these ads will be actually using it!!!!

    • hey Krishna,

      I am glad you enjoyed reading this and had a good laugh.

      The amount of pressure common girls carry on their shoulders to look bful and fair, is all thanks to the photoshopped pictures of these celebs!

  4. well nice post zeee…bt dnt u think the whole thing was blown out of proportion…am nt denyin the facts u wrote…dnt think anyone can..and yes its a bit frustratin as well… do check out the oter side of te coin as well….just go into a matrimony site nd check for the expectation of girls abt their guys…..even if shes +2 pass, she wants an MBBS or smeone abroad…its understandable then that everyone wants the best to be their partner…ya can understan no one wants to live in a village anymore….bt not even metros…they need international contracts…

    if thts wat it takes to get married and also looking at te amnt of things we guys hve to go through(Degree, PG + settled + financial and all this by te age of 28)…well i guess its kinda k to be wantin to have a fair, beautiful and attractive girl….

    hell…lf we have to put our life on te line to get ther to be eligible to be considered..plsss not te wrd considered ( not chosen) for a girl…ten i think its pretty ok to want tht of te opp sex as well..

    again am not supporting the fact tht all this is stupid or at times frustratin to see…its pretty nice wen u see someone giving an ad saying, i want a person who’s god fearing, handsome,lovable,having a good sense of humour and you have a respect for them…well again the flip side is , if u dnt see wrds like PG,abroad,finance in the profile ur first impression is also …O god smethin shud be wrng here….so i guess this is a fact of life which we have to either make all the genders understand or accept it as the right thing to do….

    pls dnt take this as me condemnin the post or the other sex….the post is great but you gave only side of the story…wud hve been better with both…hopefully next time Zee….keep goin( O and as usual gr8 read)

    • Whoa… Breathe Josy.. relax.. 😛 I am sure you are never going to have to resort to matrimonial ads for your marriage 😉
      Thanks for liking this and taking so much time to comment.
      I agree to some of your points
      but but but… if you take a closer look, girls these days are also equally pressurized about …whats your line … ya Degree, PG + settled + financial and all this by te age of 25
      the whole post was never about battle of sexes.. it was about want of white skin…

      Great to see your comment here. thanks for visit

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