I’m not sure what’s with the Asian obsession with fair skin. Fairness creams are all the rage. Fair skin makes you a better person, more successful: Bollywood figures endorse these creams.
This craze isn’t limited to India though, where you do see dark people, but also in Singapore, where the populace is generally fair-skinned. Some whitening creams I’ve seen here cost more than a few months’ worth of groceries. Having never been fascinated by fair skin (quite the opposite in fact), I haven’t tried out these creams, so can’t comment on how effective they are– but as a writer, the obsession with ‘whitening’ seems rife with fictional possibilities.
Especially when I see the contrast with Caucasians: they throng beaches and swimming pools in Asia when the sun is at its peak, getting their ‘tans’ (for which they use ‘tanning beds’ in their native countries). The Asians emerge only after the shadows have begun to fall, careful as ever of the fragile ‘fairness’ of their skins.
Wherever I’ve traveled in Asia, I’ve seen young women tagging along after a (usually) elderly male gone to fat, pushing prams containing, you guessed it, ‘fair’ kids. (It could be love too, or economics, and I’ll perhaps have a gang of Asian ladies ready to slit my throat for daring to suggest otherwise.)
But the following article in one of India’s leading newspapers takes the cake:
Mayuri Singhal, 36, married into a fair-skinned family. She herself is what is often described in matrimonial columns as ‘wheatish’. When she couldn’t conceive, she walked into an IVF clinic with her demand: a ‘white’ baby. “I had read on the internet that one could access a donor who is fair. I decided to opt for one so that the child blends in with the family.”
According to in-vitro fertilization (IVF) list out specifications — the egg or sperm donor should be educated, fair, have blue eyes,” says Dr Rita Bakshi, an IVF expert. says roughly 70% clients ask for fair donors., there are close to 19 million infertile couples in India and their numbers are growing. “Couples who come for
Say what? Not happy with the dark skin you’re born with, you actually want a custom-made ‘fair’ baby with blue eyes? I can see a collection of stories set around an Indian IVF clinic, or even an Indian sci-fi horror saga.
Have you ever seen the obsession with a different skin tone play out at a location near you? What did you think of it?