"All of the beauty of the world, 'tis but skin deep."-Ralph Venning
The April issue of Indian Vogue tackles the cultural prejudice of darker skin color in the subcontinent with a cover and article discussing and promoting the skin tone. The editorial states, "Every generation has its share of beauty myths. Perhaps it is time to bust this one. Time to say that as a magazine we love, and have always loved, the gorgeous colour of Indian skin...dark, dusky, bronze, golden-whatever you call it, we love it."
As any South Asian gal in the U.S. or abroad can tell you, the quest to be light has been deeply ingrained in the culture while ironically most of her Caucasian friends are running to the spray-on tanning salon. From aunts subtly suggesting the infamous Fair and Lovely fairness cream (Interestingly, the London Times reports that "the demand for skin-whitening creams from brands including L'Oreal..-grew 18 percent last year and is set to increase a predicted 25 percent this year.") to being told to avoid the sun at all costs, the complex bias against the natural skin tone has somehow managed to endure the test of time. So, it's no surprise the cover is getting much coverage in the blogosphere including mentions in New York magazine, the Huffington Post and Fabsugar. British Vogue mentions that the cover "has been praised by the country's fashion insiders for addressing the issue in a positive way" and quotes fashion insider Nirumpama Singh as saying, "Fairness is a very valuable thing there, looked as desirable. The fashion world can be a big agent for change in this area."
Looks like the issues is getting some much needed light (yes, terrible pun, I know). So, take that Fair and Lovely, I'm headed outside*.
*Remember, always wear sunscreen, regardless of your skin tone.
image source: vogue.in