‘Fair’y Tales – All mean Business
Today one can find innumerable choices, in the cosmetics market, to repair (?!) ones skin color. The craving for lighter skin is all over the world, especially among the Asians and Africans. They indulge themselves with skin treatments, usage of bleaching creams and fairness creams and a myriad of other means to attain one goal; to get their akin lighter. But why one do it?
The craze behind lighter skin is more among women folks than compared to men, proportionately. Nevertheless, it is the male preference that is behind this fair skin craziness among women. In the previous part we discussed about the socio-political compulsions over the skin color. The next big thing is none other than business, just business.
Skin lightening industry is a multi-billion dollar industry. Its growth and survival is closely connected with fairness craze that lingers with the customers. So to endorse it they indulge in all possible publicizing mechanisms. Their paramount task is the reiteration of the idea “only fair skin is beautiful”. The aim is to engrave this idea in the minds of the youth. This would ensure uninterrupted availability of customers in the future.
The Economic Liberalization Policies 1991 opened the Indian market to foreign companies. One among them is the Cosmetic manufacturers and the other is the soft beverage giants, the giants Coco cola and Pepsi from America. The cosmetic industry was in a dire need of a good initial push in the Indian market. For long, by then, India had an unquenched thirst over wining the Miss World contests.1994 became the year of jackpot for India. Aishwarya Rai bagged the Miss World titile and Sushmitha Sen brought home the Miss Universe titile. It didn’t stop with that. Diana Hayden (1997), Yuktha Mookey (1999) and Priyanka Chopra (2000), all from India were crowned as Miss World.
These almost consecutive wins would leave one with a thinking brain wonder, whether the world had suddenly identified the beauty queens of India. This paints an illusory image as if all the beautiful women on earth are blessed to be born in the Indian soil. On matching this with the history of foreign cosmetic companies- from penetration to their growth in the Indian market- one could get the actuality of the overall picture.