Last year I had to write a speech on the Portrayal of Women in the Media and I read a very interesting article on the Internet. It said that it not very healthy for the girl child to watch a lot of Disney female characters. The effect it has on her sub-conscious when she is shown a flawless body with an unrealistic grace can be imagined. That’s why maybe the number of teenage girls who are bulimic is so high in the west.
We are facing a similar problem in India. I was surprised to find out that the largest selling toy in India is the Barbie. Now, generally all Barbies are shown to have a fair complexion. Couple that with the fairness cream ads they show at an interval of every five minutes. Just imagine how they are brainwashing not only children but also adults. They are indirectly saying that we should be ashamed of our brownish complexion. This inadvertently makes them racists. It shatters the confidence of the girl child because let’s face it; majority of the Indian population is brown. And if they’re saying that only a fair skinned girl can have the best career, best life partner and the best life then imagine what effect it will have on her self-esteem.
The government comes up with new ideas for banning alcohol and smoking. They are not allowed to even advertise. And while I’m all for that as well; they should also invest some of their efforts and look into this matter. It’s not as if fairness creams are completely harmless. They reduce the melanin contents of your skin effectively exposing it to all kinds of diseases including Cancer. Why is the government so ignorant towards the matter?
Children, especially the girl child should be taught to be proud of her complexion instead of brainwashing her into underestimating herself and making her resort to wrong, temporary and harmful solutions.