Indian Women Whiten Their Skin, Fight The Patriarchy



New York Times

has a disturbing yet wholly unsurprising story about the expanding market in India for skin-whitening creams. Apparently global cosmetics companies like Avon, Garnier, Body Shop (?!) and Vichy (advertisement above) are taking on longtime market leader Fair & Lovely to cash in on the common perception on the Subcontinent that the lighter a woman’s skin, the better her life will be. In fact, you could call the “perfect”,

Wonder Bread-complexion

just another weapon in the war against gender inequality!

Beautytips skincare cosmetics

Fair and Lovely, with packaging that shows a dark-skinned unhappy woman morphing into a light-skinned smiling one, once focused its advertising on the problems a dark-skinned woman might face finding romance. In a sign of the times, the company’s ads now show lighter skin conferring a different advantage: helping a woman land a job normally held by men, like announcer at cricket matches. “Fair and Lovely: The Power of Beauty,” is the tagline on the company’s newest ad.


The paper also reports that Unilever, the parent company of Fair & Lovely, “has drawn particular scrutiny because of its market dominance its ads and the parent company’s image. Unilever also makes Dove products, whose “Real Beauty” campaign encourages women in the United States and Europe to embrace the way they look.” (And Unilever would



send mixed messages

to its consumers!) But don’t think that Western ideals of beauty have anything to do with the

sixty to sixty five percent of Indian women

who use such creams daily, says Didier Villanueva, a manager for L’Oreal India, who claims that the quest for fair skin among Indian women has nothing to do with cultural imperialism or the after-effects of colonialism. “It’s as old as India,” he says, and “deeply rooted in the culture.” Kinda like being burned at the stake for adultery!

Telling India’s Modern Women They Have Power, Even Over Their Skin Tone


Dove Tales

Article preview thumbnail

Dove Tales

According to today’s Slate, Unilever, the company responsible for the above atrocity, is also…

Read more



This is is a syndicated post. Read the original at

#Beautytips #skincare #cosmetics


A quick note about the reviews on this site: I am an affiliate for every product I review. The vendors of these products give me them without charge in order for me to test them. However all my reviews are done as honestly as possible and I make no promises to the vendor prior to writing my review. Should you click a link on this site that takes you to a paid product this link will be an affiliate link and I will be paid a percentage of the sales price should you decide to purchase that product.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email