In India, Skin Lightening Creams Are All the Rage
The Washington Post reports that American-style beautification obsessions are starting to make their way into India. Like this:
He’s the rugged type, with sculpted arm muscles. He rides a motorcycle and wears a trendy tank top, wraparound sunglasses and slicked-back hair. There’s only one problem: His skin color is a few shades too dark. His fair-skinned love interest won’t even accept his offer of a rose.
But in this popular Indian television ad, the protagonist is able to buy a magic cream that will change his status in life, turning his brown skin several shades lighter and causing his beloved to swoon.
The new product is called Fair and Handsome, and it’s among the male skin-lightening creams that are exploding in popularity in small towns and cities across India. While such products are nothing new among Indian women, for whom fair skin has long been a symbol of affluence and status, sales of the product for men are growing at nearly 150 percent annually in emerging markets, according to a recent study by Ernst & Young.
“It’s all lower-middle-class men who want the product now,” said Ajay Gupta, 52, a pharmacist, who said the creams often sell out. “What it really means is that the young and up-and-coming Indian male wants to look fair and therefore rich. He wants to be smart and good. The cream is now part of many men’s grooming routine and very popular at barbershops.”
(link via Human Nature)