Hari's Corner

Humour, comics, tech, law, software, reviews, essays, articles and HOWTOs intermingled with random philosophy now and then

Fairness cream ads and more randomness

Filed under: Bits and Bytes by Hari
Posted on Mon, Oct 29, 2007 at 10:23 IST (last updated: Wed, Jul 16, 2008 @ 21:21 IST)

I've been watching the just-concluded NKP Salve Challenger series which pits the top domestic cricketers in India against each other in a triangular tournament and during the commercial breaks, I've noticed a couple of new fairness cream advertisements that target men. While I've always detested products that promote discrimination on the basis of skin colour whether they target men or women, these new ads have taken them to a nauseating new low.

It's not just the racist aspect that annoys me. I can accept that racialism will always be a part of our societal make-up, but the fact that these ads assume that the potential customer is dumber than a flea really gets to me. To put it a little crudely, no matter how much cream or lotion you apply on a buffalo, you cannot change it into a white cow. These skin creams are nothing more than glorified sun-protection lotions with mild bleaching agents to remove tan. But going by some of these ads, you would think that a black-skinned man or woman can transform into a perfect caucasian within seven days. On second thoughts, I think the marketing agencies which cooked up such messages might have understood the intellectual capacity of their target audience better than I have. :p

Apart from that, these ads always kindle the baser instincts of human nature, glorify a disgusting form of discrimination blatantly and unashamedly and spread all the negative stereotypes associated with dark skinned people. A sad reflection on society's obsession with peculiar notions of physical beauty.


Talking of cricket and the Challenger series, I wonder why the National selectors couldn't wait till the end of the tournament before announcing the ODI team for the home series against Pakistan. The whole tournament was over in just 4 days and surely the selectors could have given prospective players the extra match opportunity to prove their ability and worth. Sadly for players like Dinesh Karthik who had one bad game initially, their performances came too late in the day to make an impact on selection. So long as selectors stick to this bizarre policy, we'll continue seeing some strange decisions being made.

The series itself was interesting because it highlighted a couple of good prospects in the seam and spin department, notably Praveen Kumar and Amit Mishra. The former is a skiddy kind of bowler who has enough movement in the air to trouble the best batsmen at the international level, but he needs to add a yard or two to his pace to be really effective. As for Amit Mishra, his leg spin has seen vast improvement and I can see him giving Piyush Chawla tough competition during the rest of the season. On the batting front, Badrinath was really unlucky to miss the call from the selectors as was Suresh Raina, but I'm willing to bet that their opportunities will come quite soon.


One way communication gets a bit tiring in my opinion. I know I've said this before, but an amazing number of people never respond to e-mail messages (or even seem to read them!), never seem to return telephone calls and to top it all, don't seem to think it's a big problem in the first place. This notion of being "too busy to respond" seems to have become fashionable these days. Well, I have news for such people: it's not a question of being busy or otherwise: it's a question of effective time management. If you cannot find time to communicate, then either you're a lousy time planner or you're just not interested in the communication. I would much rather prefer a negative response than no response at all.

The reason I raise this issue again is because it seems to be spreading to blogs as well. A couple of years back, bloggers seemed keen on promoting two way communication and social interaction by actively participating and commenting on other people's blogs. These days, the same people seem to be getting more and more self-centred. And then they blame the RSS and Atom newsreaders for this! No use blaming technology for something that is fundamentally a social issue. If you can find time to blog, you can find time to comment on other people's blogs. Anybody who tells me otherwise fits into the same category that I mentioned above: they're just not interested in the interaction.


I'm trying to find hosting for my brother's website ToonsAndComics.com. While his hosting expired a couple of weeks ago, I've still not been able to recommend a suitable host to move his forum to. He signed up for brinkster but the basic plan did not feature MySQL databases so we were back to square one.

If anybody can recommend a good, fairly reasonably priced host, please do so. I've identified a couple of free hosts for temporary hosting, but I would like a long-term solution to his problem. Hopefully within the next few days, we can get back ToonsAndComics online! For those who've been wondering what's been happening to that forum, my sincere apologies for the delay in restoring the service.

15 comment(s)

  1. "you would think that a black-skinned man or woman can transform into a perfect caucasian within seven days."

    One cream claims it takes less than an hour ! (SAKA)

    Comment by Shrinidhi Hande (visitor) on Mon, Oct 29, 2007 @ 11:09 IST #
  2. Haha... now *that* I got to see! :-)

    Good to see you back, Shrinidhi!

    Comment by hari (blog owner) on Mon, Oct 29, 2007 @ 12:36 IST #
  3. I was visiting your blog regularly-just that had nothing specific to comment...

    Comment by Shrinidhi Hande (visitor) on Mon, Oct 29, 2007 @ 13:27 IST #
  4. That's fine. I have been reading your blog as well. Hopefully you can get a good web hosting provider to move your blog from blogspot soon.

    Comment by hari (blog owner) on Mon, Oct 29, 2007 @ 13:31 IST #
  5. those ads are funny- and here, the craze is "safe tanning" "get the facts" "spray tan" (we had a recently well publicised case of a 25 year old riddled with cancer after heavy solarium use)

    Perms are all the rage for straight haired people, straighteners for those with curly hair!

    the grass is always greener, etc etc.

    Comment by titanium_geek (visitor) on Mon, Oct 29, 2007 @ 16:22 IST #
  6. Quite true. I forgot to mention that some of these products are quite harmful to health as well.

    But unfortunately, the uneducated public will always fall for these marketing gimmicks. We need more consumer awareness.

    Comment by hari (blog owner) on Mon, Oct 29, 2007 @ 17:06 IST #
  7. I'm guilty of not commenting on other blogs as well. It's not just the feedreading I blame. I also blame some of the bloggers for having posts that don't deserve a comment. I mean, how do you comment on someone describing how they feed their cat? That would take creativity that I don't even possess!

    Comment by RT Cunningham (visitor) on Mon, Oct 29, 2007 @ 21:31 IST #
  8. Well, it's more of a general trend. I guess I've ranted about it before about people being more worried about technology than about other people.

    You're not on that category, RT, and well you know it :-p

    What I don't like in some bloggers is that they won't respond no matter how much you do. There's just no way to "break the ice" with some people and that applies to the real world as well, not just online.

    Comment by hari (blog owner) on Mon, Oct 29, 2007 @ 21:42 IST #
  9. I'm not really commenting here. You just think that I am. You're imagining the whole thing (kind of like I'm imagining that I have a Wordpress blog right now). Its ironic that the prize to most caucasians (speaking as one - with rather dark skin, who is envied for it), is to get tanned as dark as possible. I've never gotten the color discrimination thing.

    If I was really commenting here, then I might recommend that your brother look at a host that I just signed with for $4.95/month (including a domain registration for a year). They seem to have a good uptime record and alright (as in actually responds to you) customer relations. Send me an email of you want their name. I don't want to make a public recommendation for something that I haven't really tried yet. BTW, they told me in a chat before I decided that they offer SSH access!

    That is, of course, if I had actually commented here...

    Comment by MrCorey (visitor) on Tue, Oct 30, 2007 @ 00:58 IST #
  10. I'll trade one of you people who have that year round tan for my pale white sysadmin never seeing sunlight skin.. it's perfectly white for the most part.. come one, someone has to want to be as white as white gets while I want to be a little darker.. ;)

    Comment by drew (visitor) on Tue, Oct 30, 2007 @ 03:36 IST #
  11. Ooh, ooh, ooh... present Papa Hari sir!! :)

    And yeah, those videos redefined my respect for this man. Whoever said God doesn't exist obviously never saw his movies --- it must be such a spiritually elevating experience! :D

    Comment by Sudipta Chatterjee (visitor) on Tue, Oct 30, 2007 @ 08:26 IST #
  12. MrCorey, could you let me know your hosting recommendation by e-mail?

    Drew, I think the reason why people get misled by fairness cream ads is because tanning will not change the underlying skin tone. A darker tone cannot change to a lighter tone. Only tan can be slightly removed.

    Sudipta, accepted. If you mean the Vijaykanth videos, yeah sure! Watching a Vijaykanth movie is a spiritual experience for sure :-p

    Comment by hari (blog owner) on Tue, Oct 30, 2007 @ 08:36 IST #
  13. I feel that fairness cream market for women is saturated. So companies are trying to sell them to men...

    What next? Fairness cream for children..Fairness cream for old aged person...and then, fairness cream for our dog.....

    Comment by Shrinidhi Hande (visitor) on Fri, Nov 2, 2007 @ 16:05 IST #
  14. This is something intersting & quite true. I accept the way the fairness cream advertising digging the grave by themself

    Comment by shanker (visitor) on Fri, Nov 21, 2008 @ 10:25 IST #
  15. This article is his personal experience which somewhat also helped me to realize the truth of the advertisements. And yeah it also helped me to know many informations about my project work!

    Comment by Rakesh Singh (visitor) on Mon, Jun 13, 2011 @ 15:00 IST #

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