Unbearable lightness of being

Published: Monday 30 November -0001

imageIn many parts of India photography shops touch up photographs to make the skin colour appear lighter.

A marketing campaign by skincare company Vaseline is now urging Facebook users in India to make themselves appear fairer online. The company has launched software to promote its new skin-whitening cream. Facebook users are asked to download a programme, which will then adjust their photographs.

Pankaj Parihar of the advertising firm Omnicom, which designed the campaign, said the response to the campaign has been phenomenal. But not all users approve of it. Ember Rayne Hulett from Virginia in the US writes, “Black is Beautiful. You don’t need a cream to be cool.” Sociologist Ketaky Nandy said it was only time before the Indian obsession with fair skin found its way to the web.

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