By far, India, and the Arab world’s biggest brand is Fair&Lovely. Here are two of their TV spots, in Hindu & English. Somehow, I don’t think that this stuff is made from flowers.
Judging from the packaging of these recently found products marketed to Caribbean and African women globally, the miracle is in a bottle. Reportedly, the results of the harsh side effects of the chemicals that are in many of these (most notable, hydroquinone) are what inspired the late, and now-chic Nigerian Afrobeat musician, Fela Kuti, to record his hit Yellow Fever…in 1976. Unlike the Indian ads, most of the print and packaging isn’t as slick.
It goes without saying that these products do exist in the US market as well, but they tend to take a much more clinical and isolated-need approach, often marketed in magazines as “spot removers” and “fading creams for problem areas”, etc:
Before I go any further, I have used fade creams on my skin. I took the term â€œtomboyâ€ to the next level as a child and have the small knicks and scars on my legs and elbows to prove it. Naturally, as I got older “fading” and “toning” products appealed to me to make up for not being a prim and proper little girl – and in some instances, with proper application and diligenceâ€“they worked with pleasant, but not miraculous results. Needless to say, I was not applying products to my entire face and body, as some of these products are marketed.
Truth be typed, the brown paper bag test never really left the US and abroad, making this subject hardly new. But what is interesting is how differently women across the world are receiving and taking it. Now this idea opens up a huge can of worms that I’m not going to touch right now (but will later), it’s late and I have to get my beauty sleep.
Telling India’s Modern Women They Have Power, Even Over Their Skin Tone [NYTimes]
Skin colour: A shady issue? [My Bindi]
Fade to White [Village Voice]
Tanzania Counts Costs of White Skin [BBC News]
UK’s Skin Bleaching Trade Exposed [CNN]
The Youths With No Identity [Jamaica Gleaner]
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