The Obsession With Fair Skin And Pakistani Media

The Obsession With Fair Skin And Pakistani Media

We see advertisements of innumerable fairness products on television every day which are highly regressive and belittling. The newspapers are filled with ads in which creams, soaps, face washes and doctors promise a fairer skin. The advertising companies do not put in a lot of thought into making their ads because the formula is simple; if you have fair and flawless skin anyone will fall in love with you immediately. Not only this but girls who do not have a fair skin have no reason to be confident. Being fair means you are beautiful and if you are beautiful the world is yours!!

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I have seen many ruthless advertisements in which girls go unnoticed and are rejected when they are dark but the second their skin color changes, they find their prince charming falling in love with them at first sight. I find it mortifying the way in which we have readily accepted something which is wrong on so many levels. These advertisements clearly show that there is nothing wrong with segregating individuals on the basis of color and that the worth of a person is determined by his or her skin color.

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How many of you remember Vital Signs’ song ” Goray Rung Ka Zamana”? I remember there was an outrage when this song came out because it had lyrics that clearly said that girls with a fair skin were always in fashion and they had more of a right to be bold and confident. Vital Signs had to “compensate” by singing the song “Sanwali Saloni Si Mehbooba”. My point is that there was a time when we used to question these things but now when we see our media ridiculing people who are not fair, we do not even raise our voice.

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No doubt, most Pakistanis are obsessed with fair complexion but is it something so acceptable that we feel no need to question it? On the other hand, our media makes the most of it by reinforcing the thinking that fair alone is beautiful and being dark is unacceptable. The fairness creams are making hay while the sun shines; too many people benefiting from the mindset of the majority so why try to change it, seems to be the thinking behind all these ads.

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Most of these advertisements are usually shot in India, while Indians have started to realize that there is a very dark side to this obsession with fairness and they have started campaigns like “Dark Is Beautiful”, we are not even talking about the problem. There are so many girls/women and of course men in our country who are not fair but calling them ugly and unacceptable openly is somehow not wrong at all because apparently people with fair skin alone must have feelings! What are the content creators thinking when they come up with tag lines like “dark out, white in”? Do they know that they are talking about the color of people’s skin?

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The trend is lately shifting to men as well because it is just as important for men to be fair! Where, when and how does this obsession with fair skin end? Or does it just get worse? Do you find the fairness creams’ advertisements derogatory? Do you think it is time that we at least talked about the issue? Do you think that our fair skinned celebrities should refuse to be a part of  advertisements that are derogatory? Do you feel that our advertising agencies should stop making and importing commercials that are belittling? Is a person’s worth really determined by the color of their skin? If not so then why this obsession with fair skin?

Do share your thoughts please.

Fatima Awan

Fatima Awan

Fatima Awan

Fatima Awan has been a part of reviewit right from its inception. She feels very passionately about Pakistani dramas and loves discussing them to detail. If it wasn't for the play Durr-e-Shahwar she wouldn't have started writing!