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This website uses cookies to improve your experience. Continue if you are OK with this or find out more in our Privacy Policy. Slide to close. In her column, Ayesha Muttucumaru seeks out the best beauty products for olive and dark skin tones and Asian, mixed-race and Afro hair types. From the best foundations with the most inclusive shade ranges to the new launches that are currently making waves, the landscape of the beauty industry is changing and now couldn't be a more exciting time to get shopping.


Indeed, newspaper adverts for arranged marriages regularly call for brides with "milky white" complexions. The bias begins at birth, said Kavitha Emmanuel, who visits schools promoting her "Dark is Beautiful" campaign launched in We have to Don't let her out in the sun, don't let her play sport'.

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Nevertheless, "corporate companies, commercial interests cannot simply use social bias as an alibi", she added. Assembly Elections Catch all the news updates here. If I'm not, then maybe I don't deserve those things.

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As a result, many associate pale skin with wealth and beauty -- a prejudice bolstered by Bollywood films which rarely make darker-complexioned women the star and frequently portray successful city-dwellers as fair-skinned. Most of her female relatives use it -- including her year-old daughter.

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Many Indian women start using whitening products as children. Related videos. Fair and unlovely: India confronts dark-skin bias. While British colonialism helped fuel colourism, the bias is deeply rooted in India's ancient caste hierarchies, experts say. Such prejudices have exposed generations to self-loathing and low self-esteem, experts say. Home National Fair and unlovely: India confronts dark-skin bias.

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In India, a nation of 1. Her recent visit to a school ended with a lighter-skinned student apologising to classmates for bullying them over their darker complexions, Emmanuel said.

Skin lightening: india’s obsession that is becoming a medical problem

But campaigners warn their fight has just begun and that, without greater efforts to counter entrenched bias against darker skin, the rebranding remains superficial. Mid-air wedding in flight violating Covid norms. On top of the psychological damage, the products pose ificant health risks. Gau mutra to bhabhiji papad: Covid myths go unchecked.

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Today the Indian student is leading a campaign against whitening creams as global anti-racism protests highlight the obsession with fair complexions for many in Asia. Now, after mounting outrage sparked by the Black Lives Matter protests in Western cities, companies like Unilever say they "want to lead the celebration of a more diverse portrayal of beauty".

Actress Tannishtha Chatterjee, long vocal about colourism, told AFP: "When I have been cast in urban roles, a make-up artist would come and tell me that it's an 'upmarket' role, so 'should I make the skin tone two shades lighter?

Not fair | beauty for darker skin tones

In Indonesia, the pursuit of "white skin" has led to the sale of toxic, unregulated products, prompting a government crackdown. Colourism -- prejudice against darker skin tones -- in India is pervasive. The obsession is also widespread in Southeast Asia. The prejudice shows up in school textbooks, she said, with a dark-skinned person used to denote "ugliness".

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Why is Covid killing so many pregnant women in India? Related stories.

Darker shades of “fairness” in india: male attractiveness and colorism in commercials

I realise it is having an impact. Central Vista: A vanity project in the time of Daily Covid deaths remain high despite dip in new Facebook, Twitter to be blocked in India?

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Multinationals have long profited from sales of whitening creams, facewash and even vaginal bleaching lotions, by advertising the message that beauty, success and love are only for pale-skinned people. When Chandana Hiran wasstrangers would urge her to lighten her skin.

Opinion | whom do you blame for our fair-skin prejudice?

But activists say it will take time to alter such ingrained biases, especially when the sector is so profitable. Some contain hazardous levels of mercury, which can cause kidney damage, skin ailments and psychosis, the World Health Organization warns. What's Brewing. But change is coming, said campaigner Emmanuel, who believes future generations will see the world -- and themselves -- differently. So being a dark-skinned girl I've always felt that maybe I need to be fair.

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Not the Mughals or the British, the idea of colour as a feature which distinguishes people from one another is older than the epics.


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The skin-lightening products for men in India and their mode of advertising have been shaping the concept of attractiveness for Indian men by portraying lighter skin tone as the most fundamental quality of being attractive, always desirable, and successful.