Skin-Lightening Products

1303 Words 6 Pages
Despite the negative health effects that skin-lightening products pose, two major factors play an important role in persisting sale of these products. One of the first reason being is the media ownership which is dominated by the West. As noted by Dwayne Winseck, nine out of top ten global media companies are owned by Western countries and “they operate across many different media markets, including television, film, newspapers, publishing and the internet” (2011:20). This concentration of media market is crucial to note as ideals of white Eurocentric beauty persist in mainstream media which further push the female consumers to buy these products (Shrestha 2013). Evelyn N. Glenn, who has analyzed the skin-lightening market at global level in …show more content…
The intersection of class plays a crucial role in this analysis. On one hand, the ads use western science to appeal to middle-class women through global modernity which focuses on dermatology/pharmacology (see ad 3). In this advertisement, the fair-skinned model who is dressed in western clothes, leads the viewers into a technologically advanced room. The advertisement also uses phrases such as “light technology, advanced multi-vitamins, skin-cells” to appeal to educated women. While other ads use traditional science to appeal to lower-class women through national tradition which focus on Ayurveda or natural/organic ingredients (see ad 4). In this advertisement, the main dark-skinned model, dressed in traditional clothes is mocked by a fair-skinned woman who works at modern beauty company. The father utilizes the secrets of Ayurveda to make his daughter fair and beautiful. She manages to gain attention of the CEO and becomes the face of the same company who mocked her and power of Ayurveda. Although marketers cunningly employ such strategy to appeal to women across different class and educational level to broaden their consumer base. The distinction here to note is that unlike the former advertisement, the latter one specifically vilifies modern, educated women in order to uplift conservative, traditional, and less educated women. As both authors Parameswaran and Cardoz (2009) have …show more content…
Once again, the trope of “before and after” theme is used in the advertisement targeted towards women but a bit differently (see ad 5). The scene opens with a wedding atmosphere where the main female model narrates her life story in the form of fairytale to her younger sister. She goes unnoticed by the Prince in the beginning of the story. However, after using the product, she improves her complexion and suddenly becomes worthy of the Prince’s attention. She becomes so worthy that in fact, not only the Prince is ready to acknowledge her presence but he is also ready to marry her. It is interesting to note that throughout the story, the woman narrator refers to her own self as a girl and not a Princess whereas she continues to refer to the man as a Prince. What is more important is that through the fairytale approach, the message conveyed to young women in Indian society is that their physical appearance is the foremost important factor in determining their self-worth and their eligibility for marriage. The advertisement associates fair-skin as a stepping stone and a necessary one at that to achieve successful romance and marriage. Contrary to this, the advertisement targeted towards men does not utilize “before and after” theme. Rather it utilizes ideals of masculinity in order to appeal to men (see ad 6). The show the main male model performing an action stunt with guns, bullets, and

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