I’m not sure if this is a resurgence from a bygone era or something thats always been around in some shape or form. But it looks like skin-lightening cream is making a comeback. Its obviously big business in India if Vaseline is making a special product for folks in that country. But even here at home we heard stories about prominent figures like Beyonce lightening their skin. We seen magazines frequently do this.. Of course we all know about Sammy Sosa and before him Michael Jackson.
Is being Black really that bad? Along with the skin-lightening do we bring with it an attitude that sees someone dark as inferior? Does this mean folks are gonna stop going out and getting tans? Next thing you know folks are gonna start straightening their hair and speaking with funny aristocratic accents to try and distance themselves from their roots… What a strange world we live in..
Vaseline launches skin-whitening Facebook app for India
The download is designed to promote Vaseline’s range of skin-lightening creams for men, a huge and fast-growing market driven by fashion and a cultural preference for fairer skin.
The widget promises to “Transform Your Face On Facebook With Vaseline Men” in a campaign fronted by Bollywood actor Shahid Kapur, who is depicted with his face divided into dark and fair halves.
“We started campaign advertising (for the application) from the second week of June and the response has been pretty phenomenal,” Pankaj Parihar from global advertising firm Omnicom, which designed the campaign, told AFP.
Indian cosmetics giant Emami launched the first skin-whitening cream for men in 2005, called “Fair and Handsome” and advertised by Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan. It came 27 years after the first cream for women.
Since then a half dozen foreign brands have piled into the male market, including Garnier, L’Oreal and Nivea, which promote the seemingly magical lightening qualities of their products in ubiquitous advertising.
“More and more, there’s an anxiety in the mind of men about having fair skin,” sociology professor T. K. Oommen at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi told AFP.
“Indians believe that if you have fair skin you belong to the higher caste, the Brahmins,” he added, explaining that a succession of light-skinned colonisers in India reinforced the association of fairness with power.
“The Aryans, who came from central Asia, in addition to the Portuguese, the French and the British colonisers ruled over the country and probably contributed to this negative perception of dark-skin.”