Tuesday, January 17, 2012

"Mirror, mirror on the wall.....

...who is the fairest of them all"

Its funny how the grass is always greener....Along the shelf in Hypercity, my nearest and closet approximation to my dear Mr Safeway, where the anti-aging products would be found in the US or UK grocery store.....

Oil of Olay is promoting "All in one fairness" and "Natural white"
Garnier is selling it's "Power light" and "Light" ranges.
Vaseline Intensive care is highlighting "Triple Whitening Skin care" and for men "Whitening Body Lotion" and "Healthy White" face cream
India does have it's own brand "Fair and Light" which sells products such as "Fair and Handsome", "Soft and Fair" and "Clear and Fair"

The underlying message here is as in Snow White, fair is beautiful. When we got back from the US and I thought Wills was looking a bit pale and peaky, both Shankar and Sweetie congratulated me as to how pale and handsome he was looking.

In the western world, although, as we can no longer lie on the beaches covered in oil, turning gently like a kebab burning our selves to a nice 'healthy' golden brown, for fear of skin cancer and premature wrinkles, we still like to find that 'healthy' glow whether thro' some exposure to the sun, which we'll later shrug off as "there was no shade" or "forgot the factor 50" or out of a bottle - that bronze tinted foundation.

Are we never happy with how we look - curly hair is ironed straight and lank locks are persuaded to wave and weave with a variety of products offering curls galore?

Apparently the Indian desire for pale skin goes back to the times of the gods. I had thought it may be some hang over from the British Empire but that's far too recent! Apparently when the goddess Parvati was trying to woo the god Shiva she was concerned that he wouldn't fall for her as her skin was so dark. She prayed to Brahma for lighter skin.

The matrimonial ads, which appear daily in the newspaper (and contain plenty of material for another blog!) follow these lines, "looking for a slim, homely, fair girl for our son"....

The strange thing is I am sure I am way fairer than I was in sunny California, and even living in a nation where fair is tops, I still don't like it.  As my legs are usually covered up here, even on the tennis court, they are distinctly pale and pasty looking. They definitely need a tan, even that tennis players sock tan line would be preferable - anybody coming over from the US want to bring me some tanning lotion - joking. But it just goes to show....

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