Fair, not necessarily White !
It all started with the global backlash against racial prejudice!
People from tropical regions, especially Indians, have an obsession with white skin. Thus, their love-hate relationships with cosmetic brands promising to make them look "fair and lovely" still rule the advertisement space- be it on television commercials or brand promotions on social media.
Celebrities are pulled in for campaigns promoting absurd scripts- a cream that makes an individual glow in the dark, to marriage proposals getting rejected because of dusky skin and application of a certain whitening treatment would only help them land up with the man of their dreams ! As if being dark skinned is a sin and it's some karmic curse from their past lives that is haunting them even now. Disgusting, isn't it?
Finally it took some guts for these cine stars to come out and speak their minds on biases being done in every industry, especially in their own glamour world. And white skin still rules there. Even cricketers are not spared here. Now who cares how a certain great sportsman looks as long as he wins for his country and does great work! I also have a bone to pick up with these so called A-Grade cine stars promoting fairness creams- is that what has kept their luck ticking in this industry?
I am shocked and surprised to see a brand as huge as HUL taking years to finally sympathize with the women of our country, more than 70 percent of whom are " dark, dusky, wheatish" and similar shades and not necessarily " fair, lovely and milky white". It is a crime to promote color-ism, and highly unfair to project colored skin people as unsuccessful and inadequate. And all these years we been victims of daily morning rituals starting with everything FAIR- From soaps & moisturizers to bleach and facials and what not. Phew !!!
I got very emotional when this whole incident became sensational and remained in news for quite a while. In fact , I did get to read one today, on a prominent news sharing platform, highlighting an article on the yet another controversial new name proposed by HUL to rename its flagship product that our women go ga-ga over!
Growing up, I was not "fair & lovely" in a household where everyone was in "accepted level of fair skin" tone. My siblings would take extra pride in explaining me in detail about how milky skin they were as new-born ! Ha Ha Ha... I always thought and believed that being smart, intelligent and studious would compensate for all those silly skin color factors, but I sulked inside, for not being as fair as them. I remember often trying to better my argument saying "so what I am dark, even Lord Jagannath is dark too". There was another period when I would convince my mother to suggest me some ubtaan/face packs to make me look fairer and how she would laugh off saying I was a beautiful person inside out- somehow her answers never convinced me. How would they? In a family photo I would stand tall and dusky, every prospective bride/groom for a non-descriptive cousin would be pitched against my skin tone. I was probably the standard scale like a litmus paper and people would be compared with terms like "Fairer than Julie or not" !
Although now I find these incidences funny and often laugh off, however, I do believe it is a symbolic message to nations and its people to stop demeaning men and women on basis of their skin colors. Help build a nation comprising of better people and not build a world with social stigma attached around skin tones of it's inhabitants, most of whom did not have a choice when they took birth on this planet !
And by the way, who is "Julie" in this story? It's yours faithfully :)
Stay happy and say cheers to life !