More Indians trying to whiten up as skin cream sales soar

11 September 2009

With his skin-lightening antics, was Michael Jackson a freak… or a pioneer? It was the latter, if this CNN story is anything to go buy. In India, skin-whitening creams are huge, as the message that whiter skin equals success bizarrely seeps into the public consciousness.

In Britain, the fake tan business brings in mega-money for cosmetics companies but the Indian ad at the start of the news report tells a different story – whiten up your face and you’ll get the girl AND be able to strum a guitar confidently. What’s not to love about THAT? Hmmm...

Amazingly, some of the companies who flog this crap are household names such as Garnier and Nivea,  with recent sales increases of more than 100% reported in rural India.

Who knows – cake yourself in enough of the stuff and you might even get a daytime job on the shop floor with Abercrombie & Fitch!



  • Maude
    Skin whitening in India has been going on for decades. It's quite funny really. Whites around the world plaster on fake tan to look black. And Indians plaster on bleach to look white. But come on, an Indian serving you in Abercrombie & Fitch?! I have never heard anything so preposterous.
  • rod d.
    isnt it to do with the darker your skin the more likely youll be considered as someone involved in manual labour outside etc? bloody surreal all this skin colour business if you ask me. reckon it might get racial one day..
  • Zim
    Whitening products have been sold for ages in the Far East. If you go into boots in Thailand everything comes with a whitener as opposed to the West where it comes with a tanning agent.
  • Sheikhs p.
    Well rod dryfist (after washing and drying pleasuring yourself) that theory is unusally weird and unintelligent, oh back to my main comment the two richest countries in the world? united arab emirates and qatar ? oh and don't lots of sheikhs own premiership teams , takes the moneys from the english.
  • Andy B.
    Err no its a very intelligent comment actually. It's why the Victorians wanted such white skin because it showed that they were not involved with manual labour. Stop playing the race card you idiot.
  • ElBuc
    It is also worth noting the amount of teeth-yellowing products that are for sale in India - it might seem strange to us but there having discoloured teeth is a sign of health, wealth and beauty.
  • sheikhs p.
    @ andy brown if you look at what rod dryfist wrote or more to the point of what he is implying , that this might get racial one day, well this blog is probably here for that reason cos i can't see any other reason for it yeh it tries to balance it out by mentioning that brits are looking for fake tans (and there are plenty of tanning salons in britain) but who cares about what the victorians wanted , or what does that prove? and how do you know what colour of skin i am? If you want to get political then i mention that what are the british soldiers doing in afghanistan , arent they turning up uninvited helping the afghan muslims? creating schools and hospitals and dying at the same time, so whose the slaves now? don't think the afghans are going to repay them when they get older and oh i think today is september 11th
  • McBastard
    This is hardly new. Surprised it's even been featured on news. ElBuc - that's a load of crock. Never heard of such a thing. Welcome to the internet!
  • Amzmalhotra
    Its been going on for a while there and I have to admit that the number of similar ads seems to be increasing each year when I go there. But that doesn't make it right. Im a British citizen born in London but with parents from India and IMO its a totally warped concept (one of the few there are in India). Oh and; @ElBuc - that is an absolute load of cr*p there are no teeth-yellowing products that I have seen available in India. In fact they have similar toothpaste adverts to ours here in the UK enforcing healthy white teeth; they also have teeth-whitening chewing gum.
  • goon
    they don't like the cold steel up em apparently
  • Rubisco
    Weird how something as drastic as changing you gender is considered acceptable, but a simple thing as changing your skin colour is somehow offensive...
  • Farooq
    @ElBuc u can blame 9/11 on india but teeth-yellowing is harsh and wrong. folks i tell u Pakistani aspect of story, parents prefer to have whiter child. and whiter kid get more pocket money. whiter kid get more attention, whiter kid goes every where with parents and get hate from his siblings. even until few years back u need to have picture on ur CV (may be to employer wated whiter people to interveiw). Its all been going on there since British left from there (and we said bare are jou goinng Sahib , WE ARE COMING WID JOU)
  • Read l.
    What is offensive is the implication in the add that white skin is purer, cleaner, and more attractive than dark skin. To me this is the same mentality from the slave trade- that dark skin means someone is less civilised and respectable. This kind of advertising reinforces the racist culture of dark skinned citizens or immigrants being viewed as manual labourers, or just being inferior in some way. It encourages discrimination at school or work. The add even suggests that a successful career is based on having white skin. No wonder many Asian people in the UK say they have to work 10 times harder get recognised or be promoted at work. The add is from India, but it shows they believe that the west in general view them as an inferior race. They know they would be more respected by the west if their skin was lighter, which reveals the sad and demeaning effect of social conditioning. They should be proud of having beautiful dark skin, instead of thinking it deprives them of success somehow.
  • Met T.
    Today women are attach to their physical being. They want to become more and more beautiful no matter how they achieve it. Even if they risk their lives in too dangerous surgeon procedures.

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