Fairness Creams, Hang On!

Some serious field visits happened a few days back. My rucksack made its way out of the corner most wardrobes as I looked forward to step into the agriculturally rich lands of Haryana. Right now I am working for one of the largest FMCG companies and my organisation is a channel for rural marketing of their products. So we have two projects going on and I am simultaneously working with them. Empowering women, rural marketing and sometimes a surprise project to take care of professional skills in the education sector keeps me in jitters.

We have amazing products and it is always nice to deliver quality products to people living in rural areas and in some small way help them avail of a lifestyle of their choice. A quality living paves the way to a developed nation. True! Ranging from detergents, to anti-bacterial soaps and fairness creams the approach has been doing great. But promoting fairness creams, well, hang on!
My journey took me to a small village of Khilwadi with a decent number of population. The villages are sorted on the basis of the census. As I seeped into the different mohallas I could sense the level of excitement everyone had when fancy products were put on display before our marketing activity started. We have amazing promoters that take care of the activity and demonstrates every product in an attractive manner. Detergents, soaps, shampoo and fairness creams, wait, why do we need to be fair?

Our brains have been fed since childhood that fair skin is better, makes you confident and beautiful. Isn’t that the most unethical thing that society has taught us? Ranging from racial discrimination at the global front to gossiping amongst peer groups, fair skin has made its way into being the parameters of being successful, beautiful and a status indicator. Otherwise you are a failure in life. Epic failure! Our nation demands a bride to be fair and if not then apply “n” number of coloured cakes on your face to make you fair. A photo editor too comes with “effects” that makes you instantly fair.

Dear fairness cream companies,

Please stop looking forward to having a progressive nation and don’t talk about women empowerment through your advertisements when there are countless of flaws in your imagination. Showing in your ads about a woman getting married five years later after a major attempt to be fair which will give her confidence is in no way doing any good to the women community.

And for me, well, that day I realized I am a peanut in the company, and believed in the fact that I won’t bring change in one day. My very purpose of women empowerment got shattered that day. But they say the pen is mightier than the sword. It’s the population in between who will get to read this. But those young beautiful women in that remote village bought the fact that only fair skin will make them look beautiful.

P.S. To the women I met that day, You were all so beautiful!

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