The Zero Hour in Rajya Sabha became animated with an unusual discussion on Tuesday. Viplove Thakur, a Member of Parliament from Himachal Pradesh stepped up to demand a ban on advertisements of fairness creams. This is what she had to say:
“Advertisements of products like Fair & Lovely and Ponds face creams are demeaning for women. Women were developing a complex because of such advertisements”.
Broadly these are the points she made:
- Her main concern was that while India promotes every cream that promises women extra fairness, why is it that the results are never tested? She stood by her point making an argument that the advertisements mislead women about their looks and make them think that their skin colour is somehow being judged.
- Her argument came from practical experience. The MP saw a woman literally fighting for a Fair & Lovely product with the shop owner for which she did not have the money because she thought that the product would make her fairer. Thakur stated that this prompted her to take up the issue in parliament.
- Another point she made was that India is a vast country with different geographical and weather conditions. So the idea of promoting a uniform fair skin colour seems to be making a fool out of the women customers.
- She also spoke about the prejudices that exist in Indian society. Only fair girls get good husbands, Matrimonial ads prefer white skin over dark and so forth. The makers of fairness creams cash in on these very prejudices, and the solution to that is to erase those notions from our minds.
- Lastly, Thakur is not against the products per se. She is just against the way companies promote it.
Not very long ago, multinational giant Unilever had announced that it would cut out all sexist stereotypes from its ads globally. A welcome move, which other brands should put serious thought into emulating. Until that happens, we can only laud the efforts of people like Viplove Thakur, who bring the issue into focus time and again.
What do you think about fairness creams and the obsession of Indians getting fairer skin? Share your opinion in the comments section below.
Feature Image Credit: www.buzzfeed.com