Indian Politician Decries 'Racist' Skin Cream Ads
Lawmaker says whiteners send wrong message to Asians
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 10, 2009 2:21 PM CDT
A YouTube screenshot from an ad for Emani's skin whitener.

(Newser) – An Indian lawmaker has lodged formal complaints against several advertisements for skin whitening cream, which she calls “completely racist and highly objectionable.” In one ad, for example, one man tells another that he’s unlucky “because of the color of your face” and hands him a tube of skin whitening cream. The man’s face grows lighter, and he soon snares an attractive girl, CNN reports.

Dark skin carries a stigma in India and Pakistan, and sales of face whiteners are soaring, especially among men. “Basically, if you need a job you have to have white skin. If you want a good partner, a companion, you need white skin,” says the lawmaker, Brinda Karat. “What does it do to dark persons' self esteem? I think it should be stopped.”