culture shockers: Nivea and Garnier want men in India to lighten their skin

By Guest Contributor Crissy, originally published at b-listed

When I went to India for the first time, I saw how beautiful everyone’s skin was. Being a person of color, regardless of what was on TV or in magazines I was raised to believe that color is beautiful. But what I did see too in India, were commercials on TV from companies advertising fade cream, or rather skin lightening/whitening cream. In India, while I couldn’t understand the language they were speaking in the commercial, I knew what was going on. A brown person is sad, enter lightening cream, everything is good.

In the states, I see these products in aisles of certain drug stores and want to see who’d dare actually bring a box of Ambi Fade Cream to the counter.  Enter that  recent Tyra show with African American women who not only bleach their own skin, but one woman even bleached her children’s skin.

And now a recent report from CNN is showing commercials in India that are targeting not only women, but men.  Note the freeze frame of the man in the salon chair with a bleaching agent all over his face, while the actor in the commercial says that these products make people, “fair and dashing.” And I know this is highlighting India, but it’s happening across the globe.  People, please. Get a grip, this is crazy, the chemicals are dangerous, and the colors in this world are far too beautiful.  Accept and love what you are given, it tends to work out better for people in the long run.