Fair & Lovely – More Like Unfair & Ugly

by Sanjana Bandaru
fair and lovely

India’s most popular skin-whitening cream labelled as ‘Fair & Lovely’ markets having whiter skin as a privilege, and most of India agrees.

 Its television advertisements depict a so-called ‘depressing’ life that originates from natural, darker skin – ‘when you use Fair & Lovely, you’ll be ten times whiter AND happier’. I’m sorry, but this is false.

Fair & Lovely’s packaging displays a side by side comparison of a dark-skinned woman looking upset and a happy, fair-skinned woman beside her. What message is this spreading? They consistently highlight the idea that you are worthier with paler, ‘aesthetic’ skin as it is not only attractive, but it is also an asset in terms of relationships and wellbeing. If this supposed statement is true, Fair & Lovely, why are so many women still unhappy? The answer is simple; your so-called magic cream cannot perfect someone’s life as it pledges to on your packaging. It only serves to divide people further by vilifying darker skin and glorifying whiter skin. Perhaps instead of declaring that natural skin is ‘ugly’, you should speak of how your ideology is ‘ugly’.

Now comes the question – is Fair & Lovely safe? It may not be as perfect as it claims to be. Risk of developing acne, something that many hoped to get rid of using Fair & Lovely, is high, leading to a reduction of skin elasticity. Exposing the skin to creams with chemical ingredients also increases the prospect of skin cancer. Would you be willing to whiten your skin at the cost of this? I’ll pass, thanks.

Fair & Lovely – more like Unfair & Ugly. Damaging your skin in the long term and broadcasting a message that is sincerely not true. Frankly, I think your brown skin is enough – let’s all stop accepting this blasphemy way of thinking and be content with what we have. Darker skin is for the win.

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