Monday, January 28, 2008

In India's Huge Marketplace, Advertisers Find Fair Skin Sells

This has always been a fixation with Indians. "Fair" skin has been a
big plus, whether it is for a new born baby or for a woman of
marriageable age. This recent article in the Washington Post has a
very interesting perspective of "fair skin."

Here is an excerpt from a Washington Post article --
The presence of Caucasian models in Indian advertisements has grown in
the past three years, industry analysts say. The trend reflects deep
cultural preferences for fair skin in this predominantly brown-skinned
nation of more than 1 billion people. But analysts say the fondness
for "fair" is also fueled by a globalized economy that has drawn ever
more models from Europe to cities such as Mumbai, India's cultural

"Indians have a longing for that pure, beautiful white skin. It is too
deep-rooted in our psyche," said Enakshi Chakraborty, who heads Eskimo
India, a modeling agency that brings East European models here.
"Advertisers for international as well as Indian brands call me and
say, 'We are looking for a gori [Hindi for white] model with dark
hair.' Some ask, 'Do you have white girls who are Indian-looking?'
They want white girls who suit the Indian palate."

Indians' color fixation is also evident in classified newspaper ads
and on Web sites that help arrange marriages. The descriptive terms
used for skin color run the gamut: "very fair," "fair," "wheat-ish,"
"wheat-ish-medium," "wheat-ish-dark," "dark" and "very dark."

Read the full article at --

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