Saturday, October 13, 2012

Fair Or(n) Dark?

“Gore log nahi, mujhe kale log pasand hain(I don’t like fair guys, I like dark ones)”… a blushing Rani Mukherjee confesses on television. I notice a faint smile of relief on the faces of atleast two male friends who were watching the trailer of bollywood starlet Rani Mukherjee’s comeback film “Aiyya”  with me. I chuckled silently wondering what thoughts might be going on in the minds of my friends as I stared on at Rani dancing to the tunes of ‘dreamum wakupam’ . Tall…. Dark… Handsome….  has always been the criterion for attractiveness in men I told myself. But little did I know
“ Irony regards every simple truth as a challenge”  and mostly Irony wins.
The very next commercial was that of a male fairness cream. A young village lad applies the specific cream to get fair and ‘handsome’ in no time. I wondered whether the days of the tall dark and handsome guys had ended giving rise to a new breed of metrosexual males.
Fairness creams, lotions, gels, soaps etc have always had a huge market in India. According to WHO “61% of the dermatological market here consists of skin lightening products in India.” But till a few years back these were supposedly female products. In a society in which social stigma often dominates logical thinking, has the determinant of  attractiveness in men seriously changed so much in such a short span of time??
Girl’s evening out. We were discussing the same old topic… who were the hottest guys in class… athletes , musicians and hot bods of course the favourites. When the discussion turned towards a certain individual X,  all the girls had the same opinion “o boddo forsha … meyely. ”(he is too fair and hence a bit iffeminine). ‘Fair’ definitely did not mean handsome.
The very fact that these fairness creams are not at all good for skin is out in the open, side effects include damages to kidneys, lungs etc. But even after knowing all this why do people still feel the necessity to use these products I tried to figure out through my show.
Question 1: Why do Guys want to be Fair? And how many individuals have tried using them?
An overwhelming 73% of the callers confessed to have used a fairness product. Around 10 of them said that they used these creams daily.
The reason their usage was unanimous. A  few stated that it helped them gain confidence to face interviews etc. But about 98% of the men believed that fairness in skin helped them gain female attention.
That brings us to the second question
Question 2: Do girls feel that Fair guys are more handsome?
The results were quite the contrary. 53% said that skin tone did not matter when they chose their partners, what did matter was their overall health, fitness quotient and nature. While 41% stated that they still preferred Tall DARK Handsome men over their facial cream applied fairer counterpart.
Dimag Ki Batti Jalao Moment:
The results of the observation of show give us quite a remarkable situation. While the females seemingly don’t  care about the skin tones of their partners, often preferring darker men as the more macho segment, the males seem to be confident that being fair shall attract more females.
Strange, right? Strange as it may sound , it might be true…
Recap to all the fairness cream advertisements.
What do these advertisements sell? They sell dreams … dreams to belong…. to outshine …. to dominate… and the advocates of these products are often bollywood celebrities, who are  inspirational figures… whose  life everyone wants to replicate.
Realization: It seems that dreams just might have more power than logical reasoning and social stigma combined.
People often look after  animals, plants, birds, heritage sites etc when they are in danger. With the number of empty tubes of fairness creams the very existence of tall dark and handsome men in India seems to be in danger. Scared and concerned that soon enough their names might also be in the list of extinct species.

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