Ban and beauty: Unfair colour bias runs deep within

Fairness ads
Many celebrities who endorse fairness creams in real life took to social media to condemn racism in the aftermath of George Floyd's death and were met with criticism.

When she was a little girl, Jaseena Backer was often referred to as karumi (dark-skinned). While her elder sisters were visibly fairer, she was often taunted and ridiculed for being dark.

“These experiences affected my self-esteem and I grew up harbouring a complex,” says the writer-psychologist, pointing out that such biases are not new or limited to an era.

“Even grandma’s wisdom had remedies for lighter skin — from tomatoes to turmeric and lemons,” she recalls and says that this mindset is changing now. “People are calling out the obsessions with fairer skin, but the change is minimal.”

Recently, the government came out with a legislation to ban advertisements that promote fairness creams, having provisions for penalising individuals or organisations with fine or imprisonment.

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