‘Fair’y Tale – Changing Trends among Women
The post globalized India saw a sea change in the earning capabilities of learned Indian citizens. The arrival of the MNCs to India created a whole new job market that offered attractive annual packages that an Indian who would have imagined the money only in his/her wildest dreams. Educated women also found opportunities in the job market and a good number of the modern female elites found their ways to self empowerment. This breed morphed in to high income groups, that heralded another sub-division in the middle class, the upper middle class. The last two decade saw the per capita income of many urban Indians doubling or tripling.
This sudden escalation in individual’s income had sharply changed the buying capabilities of a modern Indian. Self sustainable women were able to spend more than ever before. This was a bonanza to cosmetic industry that an array of imported products swarmed into the market targeting them. Choices from then on are ascending day by day.
These ultra modern women were more beauty conscious than their members of previous generations. This was aptly exploited by the companies. The Bollywood stars were absorbed after that. The lucrative moolah offered to the stars and beauties are hard to turn down offers. Reportedly among the Indian film fraternity only two dared to turn down such offers. They were actors Ranbir Kapoor and Bibasha Basu. The engaged film stars lure this target group, to endorse their products. India, a land where the stars enjoy demigod and goddess status, this idea hit the bull’s eye. The actors threw away promises that using the skin lightening product, those they promote, would buy a ticket to the glitzy world of cinema. The sales of these products are on an ever-growth phase since then.
The Media played an important role in shaping the idea of ‘White Beauty’. All the models in the advertisement industry are fair skinned women and men. If a model is of mid-tone complexion, who is otherwise beautiful, she too is white washed and showcased as fair skinned. All the fashion magazines sport only light skinned beauties in their covers and inside. Not even once could you notice a dark skinned in these magazines. These magazines and media are the doors to our modern Indian youths, to the world of fashion. Cinema is the next big promoter of fair skin.
Not a single movie sports any female artists, and never the heroine with a dark skin. The film industry portrays beautiful women as wax dolls painted in white. Most of the Indian films show the attempts of the protagonist to woo his fair skinned girl. This imbibes the notion, in the minds of the young viewers that only fair skin is beautiful and it is the most loveable skin tone. Naturally women who are also potential buyers spend lavishly on bleaching creams and lotions and gels, in the name of beautifying products.