One of India’s best-selling face creams has a simple pitch – apply our face lightening cream if you want to be successful.
The company’s commercials encourage racism and promote the message that fair girls are more desirable in the Indian society.
The New York Times reported about a 45 year old woman Allison Ross, living in Brooklyn who suffered severe side effects after applying face whitening cream. It made her skin so thin that a touch would bruise her face, the capillaries became visible and she got stubborn acne.
Unfortunately, if you glance through the matrimonial columns of leading newspapers you will be surprised to find that women with a dark skin are considered as undesirable. No wonder then that many women resort to skin lightening products.
In an article in the BBC, Simon Blackburn, chairman of Safer and Stronger Communities Board, said, “Skin creams containing banned ingredients are very dangerous and could seriously damage your health, scar you for life and even kill you, so they should be avoided at all costs.”
Face cream commercials don’t enlighten the buyer about the ingredients of the cosmetics, instead, they are promoted and marketed to make huge profits.
Recently, a big skin cream brand in India made a commercial where a teacher asks dark skinned students about their ambition in life. Then the teacher says, “No employer will take you in if you have dark skin.”
The girls say in unison “When we have XYZ cream, we don’t have to worry about that, it will make our complexion lighter.”
It’s a sad reality that dark-skinned girls easily fall victim to these vulnerable advertisements which prompts them to use skin lightening products without being aware of their side effects.
Who could have said it better than Amanda Gorman, the National Youth Poet Laureate of the US,
“When day comes we ask ourselves,
where can we find light in this never-ending shade?”
Perhaps it is a million dollar question which is asked everyday by so many suffering youngsters waiting for the world to acknowledge them beyond their skin colour.