CNN Discovers Fair & Handsome

10 Sep

It is an outrage! Brinda Karat said so!

It is one of several television commercials aimed at men in Pakistan and India. In the end the darker skin actor is shown several shades lighter and he gets the girl he was after. Most of the ads end up that way.

The commercials are sending a not-so-subtle message to men in Asia: Get whiter skin, and you’ll get the girl and the job of your dreams. Or at the very least you’ll be noticed.

Oh noes! Fair & Handsome will be the death of us all! Thanks to depression, low self-esteem and general pastiness.

Meanwhile, no word yet on what Fair & Lovely will do to us. It’s only been on the market three times as long.

one for Papa

one for Mummy

one for Baby

[via Gawker]


Posted by on September 10, 2009 in Life, Newsmakers, Video


15 responses to “CNN Discovers Fair & Handsome

  1. Kokonad

    September 10, 2009 at 6:27 pm

    Heh heh heh! But in reality, a lot of stuff published by global newspapers and websites often display badly researched stories, especially when it comes to developing nations. Doesn’t come as a surprise that this sucks.
    The news article in CNN seems to be written in such a way that it is targeted at whites to give them some kind of pacification in the mind, that Asians themselves are racist…

    Oh, talking of badly researched articles, did you hear about the case where two Bangladeshi newspapers took The Onion seriously and published that the moon landing was a hoax?

  2. bollyviewer

    September 11, 2009 at 1:17 am

    The ads for the men are a lot less obnoxious than the ones for women! Still, its nice to see that there is a fairness cream for men, too. If the Indian obsession for fair skin cannot be rooted out, then at least putting the pressure on men levels the playing field somewhat.

  3. naren

    September 11, 2009 at 9:05 am

    Wish they’d go beyond “fair man gets girl” in their ads.Wish they’d get more creative. Like Einstein battles over the general theory of relativity. Brow furrowed. Frustrated. His wife gives him “Fair and Handsome”. Three weeks later, the Nobel guys are chasing him around with prize in hand…

  4. abhishek

    September 11, 2009 at 9:34 am


    I posted something similar.

  5. memsaab

    September 11, 2009 at 9:56 am

    And over here, we are encouraged to use bronzers to make our skin brown (or orange, as the case may be).

  6. scorpiogenius

    September 11, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    Well, at least someone is worried about dark-skinned males, lol 🙂 I may give it a try, lemme see if I turn into a lady-magnet overnight.

    Shows as to how much obsessed our country is becoming to skin colour.

  7. nsfw

    September 11, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    But as a fellow Southie, what do you make of the trend where the darker the hero is, the fairer the heroine must be?

    • nsfw

      September 11, 2009 at 12:54 pm

      starting with Rajnikant, southern heroes were FINALLY allowed to be the natural color of the south. That they STILL lust after fair skin ladies is a different matter. 🙂

      • Goya Goya Chaand

        September 11, 2009 at 1:33 pm

        (aka Black Moon, a la “black is beautiful” Goya!)

        But poetic justice was (finally!) served don’t you think, when Shriya made Rajini dive into a vat of Fair & Lovely, in “Sivaji”? 😀

    • Amey

      September 11, 2009 at 2:41 pm

      Law of averages, my friend – just keeping the average fairness (/darkness) in the movie within national limits.

  8. Amey

    September 11, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    Oh, I like Naren’s idea. I would have come up with the same old Indian idea – galli cricketer tries Fair and Handsome, catches the eye of a selector (in a non-creepy way) and ends up in Indian national team 😀

  9. IMCurtain

    September 11, 2009 at 3:56 pm

    Lovely post!

    p/s: We would like to invite all of you to join our blogging community which helps you to get more visitors to your blogs. It’s totally free and you get the chance to meet other celebrity bloggers. Visit us at IMCurtain

  10. Tazeen

    September 13, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    no one is happy with what they got

  11. sachita

    September 15, 2009 at 5:24 am

    I agree with bollyviewer here. i have always believed it is tall fair and handsome in indian context instead of the tall dark and handsome. If anything atleast these ads are finally rooted:)

  12. Amrita

    September 15, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    Koke – hahahha, I love stories like that!

    Memsaab – was it Paris Hilton’s publicist who used to walk around looking like baby ate carrots and threw up on his face? Or maybe just Lindsay Lohan.

    Scorpiogenius – don’t froget to apply a couple of clouds of Cuticura powder to your face as well. You;ll get at least a couple of shades of white. :mrgreen:

    Naren & Amey – isn’t there like a gutkha ad or something that does precisely that? I could be imagining things but I could swear I saw something like that because I remember giggling over it for five mins.

    BV & Sachita – equality for all at last! 😀

    Abhishek & IMC – thank you.

    NSFW – frankly, it’s not their darkness that troubles me when I look at them. In fact their skin color and their clear preference for the gori chitti North Indian girls is the least of their problems. But if you’re thinking of this then I have a review of Mukul Kesavan’s The Ugliness of the Indian Male coming up, and you should read what he has to say. Owtch is all.

    Tazeen – it’s a sign of the consumer generation 😛

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