With India’s market for fairness creams expanding more every year and advertisements emphasising how a fairer skin tone can lead to a job interview, we decided to do a campaign #AlreadyLovely, a play on the name of a popular fairness creams (any guesses?), where we asked our followers to send in their pictures and stories to us!
Here are some of the gems we got! To see more, you can check out our Instagram feed.
“I look pretty #confident in a lot of my posts. Right? Well it wasn’t always the case. Being a #womanofcolour certainly has its challenges. But the challenges faced in different cultural contexts are different. For those who don’t know, I’m #Indian. South Indian, to be precise. Growing up, one of the myriad of things I used to hate about myself was my #skincolour. For those who don’t know – in India, fair skin is fetishised to an obscene degree. I’ve heard some dumb stuff in my time as a result: bei described as “wheatish” in a disappointed tone. Knowing what my worth might be as a result. Hearing family members excitedly talk about a potential match before seeing photos and disappointedly exclaiming “she is wheatish/dark” and feeling like shit. Being told to stay out of the sun. If I got darker, “hai raam, you are SO DARK!” Desperately trying to find dark #Bollywood actresses to be able to relate to and being disappointed there weren’t any. Trying fair and lovely to lighten my skin because I desperately wanted to be lighter skinned. Being suggested chemical peels to “help my skin condition” (when NOTHING was wrong with my skin). Being described as “negroid” Being ashamed of being South Indian because of its association with “darkness”. People being excited about my potential children being fair skinned and fair eyes (thanks for placing bullshit standards on unborn kids! Also what if they’re NOT fair? Are they automatically more ugly?!) You know what? I love my skin. I love its colour. Why should I change my skin colour? It is beautiful and dark and I never ever burn and it is perfect FOR ME. I’m DONE buying into the stupid light skin fetishism. Natural skin colour is #beautiful. Never be ashamed of your skin colour – you are worth more than that. And ANYONE who does so, they are not worth your time or effort. I look confident in my photos. Right? That wasn’t always the case. It takes time and effort to break out of that mould. But you can do it. There are more of us who are proud of our skin. And you can be too.” . . Featured here is the amazing @thepowerbuildingpoppadom #fuckfairandlovely #naturalskin #alreadylovely #bekindtoyourself #selfconfidence
“I’ve often been mocked for my skin tone and most of it happened when I was a kid. This was very common back in the 90s when these fairness creams had just been launched in India. I remember trying out a few fairness soaps and creams in order to become fairer. I gave it a shot for a few days, I think, but then gave up as I couldn’t see the results. I still didn’t realise that there was no need for me to become any fairer or darker. I was good the way I was. Only later in my life, when I started meeting more people, from different backgrounds, did I realise that all this is crap. It doesn’t matter what shade your skin is rather what matters is how you are as a person. Black, white, yellow, pale, red, etc are all the same when it comes to how we look. It’s how we are and we need to accept it. We’re all beautiful and we shouldn’t believe what Shahrukh Khan tells us on TV. I got a job. I got married. I can enter restaurants with confidence. I can face myself in the mirror. My dog doesn’t bark at me. All this despite the fact that I’m on the dark side as they like to put it. Kalu. Kale. Ambrose. Kuruvilla. Kallu. Tawa. Koyla. Bhalu. Madrasi. Tambi. Kalua. Kala kaloota. Mazdoor. Gareeb. These are just some of the words thrown around at people who are dark. While this may not hold.true for me anymore, don’t think there’s people like this around me today, it must be true for many others and it surely was rampant 15-20 years back when I was growing up. It impacts you and you really feel inferior when your fair looking friends are complimented more, have girlfriends / boyfriends, are appreciated by parents more, and what not. This education needs to start at an early age as kids growing up are very impressionable and behaviours like this could impact them for life and not always in a positive manner.” Featured is the #AlreadyLovely Rachit Varma
@herlavishhustle says ‘Don’t play under the sun’. ‘Don’t drink a lot of tea.’ ‘Try this new fairness cream’ ‘You won’t find a rich/handsome groom with this complexion.’ . . You have heard these at some point in life if you are from India, haven’t you? They differentiate us as ‘browns’. Little do they know, underneath the skin (that’s just a layer), we have same shiny souls, we are all made of blood, we have same organs and bones. . The fairness scale above is quite a useless way of measuring a woman’s content of character. . No Thanks !! . . I am not the color of my skin, I am not my chin zits, I am not my dark circles, I am more than just my skin. I am already lovely. Please SHARE your complexion story with @inbreakthrough and use #AlreadyLovely to spread awareness. 🙏🏻 ___________ ___________ #ootd #delhiblogger #indianblog #lookbook #wiwt #whatiworetoday #measure #bindi #indianFashionblogger #campaign #inbreakthrough #grateful #brownskin #herlavishhustle #girlpower #workingwomen #skincolour
@runu06 says, beauty has nothing to do with the skin complexion… These fairness cream companies not only contribute to racism, but are setting RANDOM & unrealistic standards of beauty… I have dark toned skin and I am happy and confident in my own skin… My success, my confidence, my personality, my knowledge and the wholesome ME,… Don’t need any fairness cream… I am #alreadylovely, don’t need #fairandlovely… #unilever We agree!
@jiksawpuzzle: Much deliberation went into posting this without any makeup on and worrying about whether my complexion was patchy or not. Fairness has been the beauty ideal in our country and worldwide– a result of colonialism, casteism and white supremacy– and it needs to stop being that way. I’m #alreadylovely. . . . . 💯💯 We totally agree! NO to fairness creams 🚫 YES to fairer beauty standards ✔✔
@irisyousaf says, “I have been told that I’m too dark and ugly to find anyone. I have been told that I would look better if I lost weight. I have been made fun of for being short. I have always struggled to love myself. Today I want to take a step to start accepting and loving myself for who I am because I am #alreadylovely” . . . . We agree! 💯💯 . . NO to fairness creams 🚫 YES to fairer beauty standards ✔
Say NO to fairness creams.
YES to fairer beauty standards!