Which makes you wonder, if black/brown/other Pantone colours matter, how do we explain the obsession by the same group to such an extent that they form a significant part of the rise in the sales of skin whitening products?
According to a Grand View Research report*, the skin lightening product market was valued at over $8.3 billion in 2018.
A recent article in Business Enquirer states that the global market for skin lighteners is driven by the growing desire for light-coloured skin among both men and women primarily from the Asian, African and Middle East regions.”** with the largest and fastest-growing markets are in the Asia-Pacific region.† and is expected to grow
In the not too distant past, a global brand used to encourage consumers with ‘you are beautiful the way you are’, while its other judgy cousin persuaded that you had to be fair to be lovely, otherwise it was farewell (fairwell?) to your dream job, dream husband/boy friend, dream-whatever.
But you can’t blame the marketers. As long as there is demand, there will be supply.
The problem lies with us. Deeply embedded where no cream can reach.
Matrimonial ads in India, for instance, seek fair-complexioned girls while Korea’s love for Snow White is well-documented. It’s the same across Asia it seems from a quick Google search (try ‘Asia’s obsession with skin whitening’).
While beauty may be skin deep, racism apparently goes deeper.
Into the way you are brought up.
Into what you were told by your parents, your friends, your teachers, religious leaders and neighbours.
Into what you read, what you listened to, what you absorbed.
Without thinking, without analysing, without allowing a pause between stimulus and response.
Unless and until we realise that we are all a combination of 46 chromosomes and the four letters of DNA in their infinite permutations, that the climate and melatonin levels decide our skin colour, there will be racism.
With its knee firmly on the throat of the rest of the lives in other colours.