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Pakistani Show Painted Fair Models With Dark Tone For Beauty Segment

A Pakistani show painted fair models with dark colours to showcase how bridal make-up would look on dark skin. Morning television show Jago Pakistan Jago recently hosted a bridal makeup competition. The contestant beauticians were presented with the “difficult” challenge of turning dark-skinned models into beautiful brides.

As if such a challenge was not offensive enough, the show then proceeded to paint fair models with “Negro” shade of Kryolan TV paint stick foundation

(The use of these offensive words was reportedly a part of running commentary in the competition, along with several racial and derogatory words, which I choose to exclude.)

 The segment received widespread criticism on Twitter

The Twitterati called out the show for its remarks and how it belittling it was to women with dark complexion. Many like me mused why the channel could not get models with darker skin tone instead of painting fair models dark.

But the most important question here is that how could a prominent channel air such a segment, without censoring offensive words and remarks?

Wasn’t it the network’s responsibility to review the content and handle such a delicate topic with sensitivity? Or is it that no one in an entire editing and reviewing team actually found the material offensive?

Our obsession with fairness

I agree that make-up has different effects on different skin tones. But there is a much more sensitive way of showcasing bridal make-up for darker skin tone. Calling it a challenge to make a dark skinned girl beautiful is definitely not one of them. Also, instead of calling in models with darker skin tone, the show chose to paint fair models with dark foundation. Either it was a cost-cutting measure, or the show organisers actually thought that painted dark girls would look more presentable on national television than girls with a naturally dark complexion.

Also, before pointing fingers at Pakistan, we need to acknowledge the widespread obsession with lighter skin tone across India as well.

Our society treats dark skin as a disease, offering “cures” like fairness creams and treatments to get rid of it

Fairness cream ads in India blame darker skin tone for everything from lack of self-confidence, getting rejected in marriage proposals, to even failing in job interviews. If our ads are to be believed, then dark skin is the worst thing that could happen to a girl. Obviously, the criterion of skin colour is applicable to women only, because we are a sexist society. We certify girls in our country on only three parameters – skin colour, sanskaars and domestic abilities.

Such is our obsession with skin colour, that it becomes an inseparable part of our individual personalities

Such a culture of bias towards dark skin tone comes naturally to us. Most of us turn a blind eye towards offensive ads. This is because we know that we can do nothing to repair the extensive damage to our cultural sensibilities.

It is ironic that many people from India and Pakistan accuse the west of discrimination on basis of skin colour, but we do not bat an eyelid while doing the same to half the population of our countries.

Our reservation towards dark skin colours pushes many women towards desperation and depression. Their achievements and personalities become irrelevant because no one cares to look beyond their skin colour. It’s about time that we learn to embrace people for who they are, instead of judging them by unfair and discriminatory beauty standards.

Photo Credit: BBC

Also Read: US Retailer CVS Pledges To Make Beauty Advertising Realistic

Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section.  The views expressed are author’s own.