Thursday, July 10, 2008

Somebody let the Auntie Patrol into Ogilvy & Mather

Check out this commercial*, Kabhi Kabhi Pyar Mein, for Pond's "whitening" cream featuring Indian actors Priyanka Chopra, Saif Ali Khan and Neha Dhupia. It's the first of a several-part "novella." Here is the entire commercial series (as configured for another region in Asia).

I remember Aunties suggesting we use Fair and Lovely "fairness" cream in junior high so we wouldn't get "too dark" from hanging out in the pool. That stuff is just jasmine-scented sunscreen/moisturizer, but I bought into the hype back then. I feel lame about being shamed into using it. 

Sadly, this prejudice is still going so strong that they have entire soap opera about how much harder life is for the "darker" girl and how unfair it is. My mom watches it. While it's good that people in India are being shown how backwards and archaic these stereotypes are in mainstream soaps, it's sad that this kind of stuff is taking place in present tense.

*via the comments to a post about something even more ridiculous on sepiamutiny.com.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

What about hair straightener?

Noelle said...

I saw that ad yesterday, and it made me sad because the whiter people don't even look Indian anymore. It's like they've lost their identity completely because of some stupid cream that can't possibly even do what it says it does.

I'd be happy to trade them, I'm looking quite pasty for mid-July...

Guyana-Gyal said...

You should see women here trying to bleach their skin to look lovely, it's sad because dark skin that's smooth and shiny is soooo beautiful. Some of the most beautiful women I have seen / am related to are dark.

We all bought into that belief at one time or another though, that fair skin is best.

I'm glad the soaps are touching on those issues...Saloni in Saat Pere was taunted about her dark skin whilst growing up.