Okay! Lets be fair! Why are we so obsessed with the FAIR skin?!

The eternal obsession with fair skin? Wait? Was it actually eternal?? 


Ever wonder why we are so obsessed with the fair skin? Ever think why the fairness creams are such a huge hit in the Indian market? It is true most of us like the fair skin, I am not saying it is bad, all I am trying to get at is the WHY?!


Not that I am accusing anyone of the obsession, I have been equally racist too :P. But the question still looms at large. I was reading Capt. Gopinath’s ‘Simply Fly’ where he refers to a young woman farm worker buying a tube of fair and lovely in the rural area. He quotes “ Wanting to look lovely was good enough but fair as well seemed to me a reflection of the colonial mindset! “. Is that true? Is the obsession with fairness a reflection of the colonial mindset we come with? Would be have been any different if we were ruled by any other generation rather than the whites! I agree we are wrong with the obsession. So what’s the solution? Blame the British?! 😀


Well I do agree that there is a point he drove here. It is natural that we associate certain feelings to the people and sort of generalise things. So, it certainly is a possibility that we associate the fairness to the grace and glamour the people at power or the people who ruled us carried. It might have led to an interesting take if we were ruled by someone else. Looking a little back at the literature texts, the Indian ones certainly seem to define the beautiful ones as Tall, dark and handsome. That referral continues to carry itself over the generations. There is possibly very less reference of beauty to a fair skin. Surprisingly wherever we find description of a beautiful person, it always was about the dark skin.


Looking at how the literature has changed, we could certainly see some colonial connect there. It still is a hypothesis and a topic much welcome for a debate but yet it makes me question how much as a generation we have changed over the years. At one end it is our possible pettiness not able to deal with it or maybe we are just too biased about the skin tones. Either ways there seem to be a hell lot of people making profits out of it. Maybe there is a need for the shift in the thought. It may make more sense to see beauty just the way it is meant to be. Not just the external but the actual internal persona which matters the most.


49 thoughts on “Okay! Lets be fair! Why are we so obsessed with the FAIR skin?!

  1. I have lived with the fair skin all my life. Don’t think it gave me much advantage. lol

    And now I am living with the fair skin at an older age. Too much sun. Skin doctor zapping the bad things, brown spots etc. lol

    Look beneath the skin and you will find the beautiful and wonderful and terrific and caring and etc (me). 🙂

      • OH….nobody really believes that skin deep stuff. lol Just an old wives tale. lol

        That’s what is nice about blogging. I think we really get beyond the skin. 🙂

      • yea that is true, it does seem like a grandma’s cliche now 😀 .. He he, exactly! writing somehow gives an insight to the way a person thinks! Always a beautiful deal 🙂

  2. “fairness ” in whatever culture – “beauty ” all that
    it’s the heart that matters
    we don’t leave the world with “fairness ” !
    we leave it with how we treated others and the love we left 🙂 🙂 🙂

      • 🙂 DOVE – the brand
        has a good statement – something like
        “love the skin you’re in ”
        it’s one of the only positive messages beauty wise – i have ever heard and read …… the beauty industry- TRIES to make people feel less – than whom they are- every one – skin colour all that – should be celebrated 🙂 🙂 🙂

      • That’s a brilliant statement. I think thats the best i have heard :).. Yea they prey on the poor victims of thought.. Quite sad indeed.

  3. Same thing happens here in the Philippines, man. Almost everything you see in the cosmetic aisle has whitening in it. It’s freaking me out cos today I saw a feminine wash ad and guess what’s so different about it. Yep, it makes your fanny fairer (in just four weeks). SMH. P.S. sorry TMI haha

  4. It is a obsession here in Korea, where everyone is very fair, but the females want to look sickly white because, a bit of tanned look will mean that they are equivalent to laborers who toil in the sun all day! (And thats not a very good position to be in, socially!) Customs and traditions also play major parts here. It is just we need to be satisfied with who we are and try to boost our best characteristics. And of course, by the famous saying, face is the reflection of the mind.

    • Thank you :).. I thought it was mostly the concern down here but looks like there is commonality around.. But I still wonder why the beaches are so popular in the west where they go to get a tan.. Or s it that they find a lil tan better?

  5. I’m past fair skin, now I’m trying to plump the canyon-like wrinkles out. The neck that starts at my chin and drapes to my chest, and the channels in my lips that route lipstick in a half-inch perimeter around my mouth. It’s become facial geography.

  6. These myths are propagated by a huge fairness industry. Some say Draupadi in Mahabharata was named Krysna because she was dark. Despite that she was accepted as beautiful and was the most wanted princess.

    I was stunned to see the amount of fairness creams and other toiletries used by guys. And a junglee guy like me, will have none of it. 🙂 Else, the wild animals will smell your fancy deo’s from several miles away and vanish. 🙂

    • Ha ha :D..

      Yea now that you mention I do remember reading that she was dark and hence the name Krishne.. How the thoughts have turned around! Well the cosmetic companies have sure made a great profit out of it.. And I don’t even feel very sorry for the victims

  7. Hi there Vinay. I am an old man. I am very fair skinned. I have seen a lot in my life, and a lot of places too. Glad to meet you. I think that Charles gave you the answer to your question. People want what they don’t have, and people want what they can’t have, and the commercial interests try to make money out of the frustrations and the desires and fantasies of others. People who have curly hair, think that straight hair is beautiful, and people who have straight hair often curl it, because they think that is beautiful. We look at models, and think that they are the best example of beauty, but nothing makes us smile, like seeing a loved one that we haven’t seen for a while. The truly happy, are those who are satisfied with what they have. Most of these fantasies, are like the cat chasing his own tail… and it is a waste of time and effort, if it isn’t for exercise. We have to free ourselves of these silly desires, and work towards things that are truly gratifying.

    • Thank you Shimon..

      This gives a wonderful perspective. I truly value your statement a lot and I agree, it is almost like a race to find that peace somewhere outside trying to realize everytime that the peace comes from within and not like the cat going after its tail.

      Thank you very much for the feedback Shimon..

  8. Nice article..i personally m dusky and it at times makes u conscious..but i put it side and let my qualities do the talking…and u know what, no one cares your colour then…
    and also about the Dove ad..yes its true, it IS the only one that doesn’t talk about fair skinned beauty:)

    • That’s so true Subhashree.. I am absolutely with you on this, people hardly care when we bring out the true personality and if people do, then they are that shallow and deserve to be neglected..

      I should download that dove ad.. Seems the most ethical business model..

  9. 🙂 funny the white want to be brown and the brown want to be fair .. 🙂

    got nothing better to do so might as well waste time running after such things and in meantime making someone DAMN rich tooo by buying their products 🙂

    • 😀 Funny indeed Bikram.. I think it is the theory of the grass being green on the other side. The west probably sees the brown and the east the white!! Probably the central are the gifted ones who have the option of being confused to go with the east or west 😀

  10. Beautiful closing to a great post!
    Sorry I haven’t been around much lately, but my book, The Bellman Chronicles, will be FREE to download on Sept. 10 – 11! Check it out on my Amazon Kindle page.. You won’t be disappointed.

  11. coralsandcrimsons says:

    I certainly do agree with you. I feel that people are just too obsessed with the fair skin here in India. I too have a post along the same line- http://coralsandcrimsons.blogspot.in/2012/07/paint-thy-face.html?
    They are ready to spend any amount of money to get that gothic look. These fairness creams most of the times have bleaching ingredients. And prolonged usage might not be good for the skin. People even paint their faces with lighter shades of foundations and they look indeed ridiculous that way.

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