Obsession with white

It’s an Asian thing to see white as beautiful. The amount of whitening products/services in the market are appalling. I am often approached when walking in malls, out of train station to try by people trying to sell me whitening services. I usually tell them I am happy with my colour, to which I get shocked looks.

But even in the media, especially Indian media, it is obvious that the beauty equals fairness. You see, Indians come in a variety of colours for those of you who don’t know. But these days, all the actresses I seen in movies are all white (not racially, I mean in terms of skin colour). Well almost white. That seems to be the only criteria these days to get into Tamil movies. You don’t even have to speak the language. Isn’t that crazy?  The disclaimer here I have to add is that most of my observations are about the Tamil media industry, not so much Bollywood. Though I have to say I don’t see too many actresses in Bollywood either that look like an average Indian.

For male actors though its okay. They can come in various skin tones, they can play the lead roles for in movies well into their 60s but it’s different for women. You have to be so white, be an expert in acting like a damsel in distress and be able to do choreographed dances.  And sadly I don’t see this changing any time soon.


4 thoughts on “Obsession with white

  1. The obsession with whiteness or white as the default in entertainment is frustrating and saddening. It contributes to tokenism, and when casts for projects are assembled that are more multi-cultural, they’re unable to escape the labelling of ‘diversity casting’, like it isn’t a project built on the voices of POC or representation, but rather a desperate reaching out to an untapped audience or a false bid to escape claims of racism.

    It’s even worse of course, when “the desire” to be white is marketed as a product.

    • “A desperate reaching out to an untapped audience or a false bid to escape claims of racism”. Couldn’t have phrased it better myself.

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