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Popular brand promoting colour bias in India: The white-washed truth

India is a country comprised mostly of wheatish and dark-skinned beauties. However, the population here has always been obsessed with obtaining a white skin. With time, people have started accepting their colour and appreciating their beautiful skin. However, some popular brands in India have built their business over this colour bias stigma in India.

A good chunk of its popularity stems from the fact that they use advertisements and marketing strategy that lay down false claims of making one fair with added nonsensical notions. So, let’s take a look at some of the popular brands that have been promoting colour bias in India for quite some time.

1-Fair & Lovely:

The advertisements by Fair & Lovely are aimed towards stating that using their product to attain a fair skin can help attain a million-dollar career. One among their advertisements states that skin colour when fair gets you a good job otherwise it doesn’t regardless of your qualifications. When she returns back with a fairer skin after using their cream and flaunts confidence to get the job. Now this is something that needs to be removed from Indian television as it sets an unprecedented standard for beauty.

2-Pond’s White Beauty:

According to the advertisement by Pond’s White Beauty, you can surely bag a man when you have a fair skin. The advertisement shows a girl being dumped by her boyfriend for being dark coloured. The ad stars Bollywood diva Priyanka Chopra, who herself is dusky skin beauty but promoted this advertisement and colour bias by being a part of the ad. This advertisement also stars Saif Ali Khan who plays the role of her boyfriend.

3-Emami Fair and Handsome:

The advertisement by Emami Fair and Handsome promotes the fact that one needs to be as fair as superstar Shah Rukh Khan to be desirable. While other brands focused on women for their business, this brand took it up a notch and focused on the male gender to spread the white skin propaganda. The cream states that it can make men as fair and appealing as superstars in Bollywood. This states that the fairness craze doesn’t just limit itself to women; it had spread its wings to the male gender as well.


Nivea is a popular deodorant and beauty product company that has been in business for decades. A deodorant advertisement by Nivea states that it can provide you armpits that are whiter. Right from the face, the white skin desire is spreading all over our body and this advertisement is the perfect example of the same. Because why stick to white face when you can make each body part white. This has increased of women feeling insecure about them from tip to toe. This particular commercial stars Anushka Sharma who woos her lover by the help of bright and beautiful armpits.

5-Clean and Dry Intimate Wash:

Now it’s obvious to everyone that our genitals tend to be darker than the rest of our skin. It’s natural for anyone. However, some brands such as Clean and Dry Intimate Wash have taken white skin craze to the next level. The advertisement states that having a brown coloured vagina can actually ruin a woman’s sex life. This directly promotes the myth that whiter privates tend to make a man happy and thus creating an unfathomable trend among the younger generation.

In order to curb this issue of white skin bias, the ASCI or Advertising Standards Council of India released a draft based on guidelines to be followed by such companies. The concern over ethics followed by skin lightening creams has now compelled the organization to curb this biasness with new set of rules.

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