India is obsessed with skin colour. India's skin bleaching business racks in over 450 million a year! Fair & Lovely, a skin whitening brand that launched in the seventies is still one of the more profitable brands under Unilever's portfolio. In fact, it's the largest skin whitening cream in the world. The Indian community believes the paler you are, the more beautiful you are. And this is where things get confusing.
Historically, our Indian society has been so ashamed of dark skin that we have painstakingly shown the Western world only our fairest, and lightest-skinned leading Bollywood actresses. Western civilization has learned from us that these fair-skinned women are "what Indian women look like." And, if that is all they see, then that is all they will ever know.
As a kid, I quickly figured out my so-called "dark" brown skin was darker than most Indian girls and as a result, I become fascinated with fair skin. These days at 24, I'd like to think these things are part of my past but a recent article in the Guardian, "India's unfair obsession with lighter skin," is like a slap in the face -- an ongoing obsession with fair, lovely, beautiful skin here and there.