Mirror, mirror on the wall... who is the fairest of them all?

Remember the evil queen from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, who kept bugging her magic mirror to tell her that she was fairest of all? She knew she wasn't yet she wanted to hear from the poor mirror on the wall. Poor Snow White almost died for being so fair and pretty. We know the rest but do we realize that as Indians we are stuck in the same rut as her? 

Don't we all want to be the fairest of all? Yeah, we most certainly do! No wonder we have so many ads for fairness creams. Every fairness cream ad states that once you get fair skin, the world will be at your feet. Is it true? Yeah, maybe it is. Else why would stars like Shahid Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra and the likes of them endorse it! 

Since the days of the yore it is understood that a fair woman is better looking than a dark one. All colors suit her and all that jazz. She may have no features at all except for the white color but she epitomize the beauty of womanhood. Heck, we even have goddess who are fair except for Kali ma who is considered powerful but not beautiful.  

Okay so we are bunch of biased people. I remember when we were visiting Dehradun, my grandma's childhood home, she had met this young girl. Now the girl was nowhere close to pretty just fair. And by fair here I mean really white. So when she touched my grandma's feet for blessings, the old woman quipped, 'Koto shundor mein eita!"Meaning what a beautiful girl. Bullshit. So from that day I knew my grandma like many other grandmas in India was biased. 

On the hindsight my sister always had a major complex. She is darker...maybe a shade darker than I am. And we both were constantly being told what colors to wear and what not to wear. 

Every time Rani Mukherjee stars in a film, her dusky skin is caked with make up to make it look fairer. The same goes with actresses like Sushmita Sen, Priyanka Chopra and Kajol. And one of Kajol's endorsements' Olay is the worst ever! She is fair in it...completely white! It looks so bad and fake that it makes me wonder how she allowed it to happen in the first place? Maybe the money is too good? Whatever!

What is the obsession with being fair? I have no clue and I know this is a cliche, this topic is! But then being bombarded by ads on fairness creams and now men are doing it too! Yeah, all women want to be fair and lovely, and men want to be fair and handsome. Hilarious. 


  1. I'm happy for your maturity, Nikita. You say it is 'hilarious' and the line sums up your view point on the topic.

    Well, let me tell you, Kajol's Olay ad has her completely air brushed, to the extent of making her look utterly unnatural. Again, Rani Mukherjee wears layers of the grease powder to make herself look 'that way'.

    I know we've always associated the fairer woman as the good one and evil as the black one. I used to be very fair once upon a time, but time passed, and I came out of home, started traveling..to college, work and so on and got tanned. A woman in my then locality commented on how 'I've lost my charm' because of the colour. Now, that was something!

    We women/men struggle so much for being 'in', say for instance the 'fair' syndrome that we're somewhere down the line forgetting natural and fake!

  2. @Nikki - I knew by the heading what this is gonna be about! Very well written! It is much of the 'gora' mentality which we got as inheritance, though the Britishers wouldn't do that bias now [at least most of them], we continue to strive to prove our worth by the color of our skins. Utter crap.

    @Sneha - Nicely put!

  3. Come on now... times are changing.... Bipasha would have never made it in Bollywood, nor would tara Sharma have faded if skin color was all people looked for... While this may still be happening in rural areas where people dont know better, the metros and even the tier 2 cities have become more open minded. But yes, I do agree about ads being in bad taste, no doubt!

    Instead of fairness, what should be shown is the damage of the sun's rays on skin.... It can cause skin cancer, wrinkles, etc.

  4. Thank you, Himanshu.

  5. @ Sneha

    Lost your 'Charm'? WTF! Racist aunty, I tell you.

    @ Himanshu

    Yup still struggling partially with that mentality.

    @ eye_in_the_sty

    Dude, Rani made it and yeah, Bipasha too. But have you noticed the skin color change? It is more than just make-up and that is what I am talking about here... :)

    I agree with you on the skin cancer bit.

  6. Here is my reply to your comment...

    My comment was getting rather longish...

  7. That seems so weird! Even in India, your own skin tones aren't appreciated? What's up with that?

  8. @ Julia Smith

    See the irony...I guess such problems are everywhere!

  9. i have to admit, I envy people with good skin, the colour doesnt matter at all, but the skin has to have that sheen, and I am 'wow' look at that!! Maybe this too is prejudice..but cant get rid of everything can I?

  10. I believe that 'Healthy' skin is 'Beautiful', colour notwithstanding.

    It may seem that its easy for me to say that cause I am naturally fair. But trust me I would have been happier had I got darker skin. I think its just shinier and prettier.

    When I came back from Goa couple of months back I got the same response 'you have lost your charm'. All because I was tanned. No one saw the glow on my skin that the vacation had brought me.

    Yes Nikita sad but true India is still obsessed with fairness. God only knows why. I think its all lame. embrace what you have and love yourself for it :).

    Fairness creams are bullshit, sunscreens are important to protect oneself from UV rays that may harm the skin.

  11. ohh biased didima!! arent dey everywhere!! now now!! dont blame it on beauty cream..they cant make u beutiful so they decided to make u fair and equate fair with beautiful!! :P

    as the cliche goes "sheeth pathor-er moton phorsha"...lolz den get a marble statue instead of a human

  12. Its sad and you were bang on with the Kajol ad i mean what was she thinking that shes doing.Very well written nikki :)

  13. reminds me of that ad "hi handsome hi handsome" LOL!!

  14. @ Sujata

    Its a vicious circle...isn't it?

    @ Srushti

    You lost your charm coz you you got tanned? The goras die to get a good tan!

    @ buckingfastard

    I know that expression! My aunts keep mouthing that one!

  15. @ ani_set

    That Olay ad sucks! :(

    @ blunt_edges

    You got that bang on! Lol

  16. Your days are about to get worse. I will be working on fairness creams soon!

  17. I am the only fair guy in my family and looked upto for my skin color but I know being applauded for being fair skinned sucks

  18. @ Pesto Sauce

    You cannot feel bad because you are fair! The people are slow in their head. Being natural is good. I knew a friend who was worshipped by her grandmom only coz she was really fair. She had once confessed that she was never able to make friends in school because she thought she was the best and her grandmom always egged her on.

  19. Hehehhe like the name @buckingfastard

    @Nikita Yeh! Lame na... I loved my tan. Though it did burn my skin :-|


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