Tuesday, 26 August 2014

STOP: Mirror Mirror on the wall, who's the fairest of them all!?

A father who is struggling financially is saddened to have a dark skinned daughter instead of a son. The depressed girl upon using the fairness cream gets a job as a flight attendant and has changed the tide for her father. The Ministry of Information pulled down this ad as it promoted discrimination on the basis of colour.

This aim of the ministry has been codified by the Advertising Standards Council of India by through the 'Advertising for Skin Lightening or Fairness Improvement Products Guidelines, 2014'. These guidelines emphasize that advertisements should not deride race, caste, colour, creed or nationality.

The guidelines state that no advertisement of a fairness product shall reinforce negative social stereotyping on the basis of skin colour. Specifically, advertising should not directly or implicitly show people with darker skin, in a way which is widely seen as, unattractive, unhappy, depressed or concerned. These ads should not portray people with darker skin, in a way which is widely seen as, at a disadvantage of any kind, or inferior, or unsuccessful in any aspect of life particularly in relation to being attractive to the opposite sex, matrimony, job placement, promotions and other prospects. It also provides that the ad mustn't associate darker or lighter colour skin with any particular socio-economic strata, caste, community, religion, profession or ethnicity. Further the ad should not perpetuate gender based discrimination because of skin colour.

PC: www.respectwomen.co.in

These guidelines not only promote equality but attempt to uproot racism which runs deep in India's history. 

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