Wednesday, October 26, 2005
In all fairness
“Gore rang pe itna gumaan na kar, gora rang do din mein dhal jayega” Song from the film Roti, pictured above. Loosely translated it means, don't be proud of your fair skin, it'll vanish in two days.
And now a fairness cream for men. Emami has launched a fairness cream for men called "Fair and Handsome". With a name like that, Emami leaves nothing in the dark. Clearly, their marketing people as well as the geniuses at their ad agency spent long nights to carefully craft this well-thought out and utterly brilliant, path-breaking strategy for a product that promises to ligten up the faces of dark-skinned men. And where's the best place you'll find them ? Aha ! master-stroke #2 - launch the cream in - you guessed it ! - Andhra Pradesh.
Our legendary obsession with fairness has spawned off an industry worth Rs1,000cr (US$200m+), led by HLL. All this for the Indian man's fairness fetish that has always been and will always be so damn unfair on the woman. That Indian women are the most beautiful in the world is fairly (pun intended) well proven by our bevy of Miss Worlds, Universes, Solar Systems, etc. I don't need inane beauty pageants to certify that - take a look around you. Indian women rock. Even white-skinned Caucasians visiting India drool over them.
But back home, bride-seeking families are shameless enough to demand a "fair" woman in matrimonials. And groom-seeking families flaunt their daughters as "gori" (worst case, wheatish) in the same columns. Where did it all start ? Was it an inheritance from the British ? Or as my colleague Mahesh mentions, perhaps its got to do with mythology ? Remember a scarred Zeenat Aman in "Satyam, Shivam, Sundaram" singing about Lord Krishna asking his Mother why he's dark and Radha is fair.
Get over it guys. Remember Bipasha ? or Rekha ? Or Zeenat ? or Rani ? Ah naaahh, you prefer Kareena and Preity ? God ! they talk so much, and they aren't even as amply endowed! Even if men don't accept it, at some point of time they realise that its always the inner beauty of a woman that matters. But they have to get over their baser instincts to bite that bullet. Till then, they will continue to fall for fairness. Thankfully, intelligence and sense of humour don't have a colour. And like your skin, you're born with them.