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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Why I hate Fair & Lovely ads

My neutral-feminism feelings have nothing to do with it. When a close family friend asked, “How did you land such a fair and handsome husband when you are dark?” for example, I did not think of blaming the ads for moulding his thinking. Again, when I got all the jobs I have interviewed for, I did not think of showing a finger to them either.
No, my extreme feelings are due to the state of my wedding album. Like all Indian girls, I was garishly dressed for the reception, and was very uncomfortable in all the bling and make-up. I was therefore surprised to see that the photos looked even worse, and bore no resemblance to my brownish-pink colour. On asking the photographer, it turned out that he had added a yellow filter to “make me look fairer and minimise the color difference between me and my husband”.

His one well-meaning (?) act ensured that I haven’t looked at the album more than once, and I look at the floor while crossing the framed-photos-covered hall.

So, yes I do hate these ads immensely - not for wanting to make darker-prettier girls inferior, but for the quality of thoughts they send out to common households and enthusiastic photographers.


Anupama said...

Your family friend asked that?! The photographer did that?! F&L wtf!

Kunal Chandra said...

India and the biases and prejudices that we subscribe too are sometimes funny and irritating.
Am sinck and tired of listening to "ab to US jaayega", "arre itnafair hai apne se fair ladki laayega", "4 saal ho agye ab to tumhe MBA kar lena chahiye", "arre beta ab o flat khareed lo unke bete ne bhi loan le liya hai",
Complete thoughtless aping of others opinions. And in that depriving an individual of his individuality.
Your photographer should be made to close his shop.

Never mind get yourself an ice camera and take zillions of pics in natural light and settings.

Am really happy that you wrote this one.

Fair and lovely to me is not much different from wearing a wig.

Cant you get the digital copies of the pictures and remove the filter or whatever?

Archana said...

Anu: Such is life.. the whole color difference thing crops up at many places... i either ignore it or brood over it. But it ever made me more angry than the day I saw the album!

Kunal: I love all the points! Individuality indeed gets lost in these common thoughts! My sister improved the digital ones to a great extent.. but what do I do about the framed ones?! It is so annoying to see them everywhere!!
by the way, agar apne se zyada fair ladki se shaadi nahi kar rahe ho (where can you find ANYONE fairer than you) to shaadi se pehle photographer se baat kar lena... he may have similar misguided conceptions!!

Neeraja C said...

Yup. I support you completely. I don't understand why people think fair is a better skin colour. I have been asked how i can be so fair. True, im a bit fair, but that is all genetics. And ever since i knew that word, i have used it too. I think it is quite shameful for people to think having fair skin is good. In fact, people with fair skin have increased skin problems. And worse is when i tell my friends to think my way.. They say.. "You can say all that.. Because you are already fair". At first it made me keep quiet. But now, it makes me more aggressive. These stupid ads are like completely demoralizing and idiotic. I hate all of them.