Aishwarya Rai skin lightening controversy


by Rumbold
26th December, 2010 at 11:15 am    

Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is at the centre of a controversial photoshoot for Elle magazine, in which she appears to have had her skin whitened for the photos. Mrs. Rai Bachchan, who like many Bollywood actresses and actors is very wheatish anyway, appears to be several shades lighter in the photos taken.


              Post to del.icio.us


Filed in: Culture,India






70 Comments below   |  

Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. sunny hundal

    Blogged: : Aishwarya Rai skin lightening controversy http://bit.ly/fQ7vOm


  2. Paul Ralhan

    RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: : Aishwarya Rai skin lightening controversy http://bit.ly/fQ7vOm


  3. Ayesha

    "Aishwarya Rai skin lightening controversy" and related posts http://ow.ly/1aBUaw


  4. Pickled Politics » Aishwarya Rai skin lightening controversy | AISWARY RAI

    [...] : Pickled Politics » Aishwarya Rai skin lightening controversy [...]


  5. Naadir Jeewa

    Reading: Aishwarya Rai skin lightening controversy: Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is at the centre of… http://bit.ly/fYMskD


  6. Paddy Eden

    "Aishwarya Rai skin lightening controversy" Hig Key Lighting/Desaturation Dingusses!!! Link http://tinyurl.com/3ysk2lc


  7. sweetveena

    Pickled Politics » Aishwarya Rai skin lightening controversy: Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is at the… http://bit.ly/dLlCEV


  8. India: Aishwarya Rai In Skin Lightening Controversy · Global Voices

    [...] Politics writes about the latest controversy of Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, where she appears to have [...]


  9. greathollywoods

    Pickled Politics » Aishwarya Rai skin lightening controversy: … for Elle magazine, in which she appears to hav… http://bit.ly/elEzll


  10. jokirk1

    Pickled Politics » Aishwarya Rai skin lightening controversy http://bit.ly/empOlS


  11. jokirk2

    Pickled Politics » Aishwarya Rai skin lightening controversy http://bit.ly/empOlS


  12. mccell

    Pickled <b>Politics</b> » Aishwarya Rai skin lightening controversy http://goo.gl/fb/d31ch




  1. Golam Murtaza — on 26th December, 2010 at 11:29 am  

    Disappointed but not surprised.

    A British Indian friend of mine who visited India for the first time in many years a few months back said he found the local obsession with fair skin extremely irritating. He said it was as if the people had no respect for themselves.

  2. AbuF — on 26th December, 2010 at 11:50 am  

    The wonders of Photoshop, methinks.

  3. KB Player — on 26th December, 2010 at 12:09 pm  

    She’s a raving (if not raven) beauty and I’m looking at her sick with envy. Why muck around with herself?

  4. Naadir Jeewa — on 26th December, 2010 at 12:54 pm  

    Well, at least it actually is a controversy, rather than plain accepted fact.

    Photoshopped-to-Aryan-white looks are a fact of life in the non-white world, from Fez to Beijing.

  5. Nina — on 26th December, 2010 at 1:22 pm  

    It’s really not Aishwarya Rai’s fault. Elle is a fashion magazine and the industry is obsessed with white people. You can count the non-white high fashion models on your fingers. I have whole issues of Vogue downstairs that don’t feature a single non-white face and that is really scandalous. I think the whole industry propagates racism so it’s no surprise that her skin has been lightened (probably using both the lighting at the shoot and post-production on the photographs). Magazines like Elle modify everyone’s skin in photos so they would probably argue that they’re treating her like everyone else but actually that logically amounts to the fact that they’re treating her with the same racist beauty standards that they treat everyone.

  6. KJB — on 26th December, 2010 at 2:11 pm  

    How insane. She doesn’t even look normal on the Elle cover – she looks like a corpse. Ugh.

  7. elena — on 26th December, 2010 at 3:08 pm  

    Non-western women wanting to look European, more so Nordic, is as old as history itself.

    Look to the Egyptians, the Romans and the Greeks, to name just three, without visting the far east and the face painting and hair dyeing.

    Since the discovery of the northern people, beauty has always been eptimosed by Nordic qualities.

    Nothing wrong with that, nothing wrong with being happy with who you are either.

    All in all it comes down to a matter of choice.

    All people here seem to be doing is judging others for the free choices they have made.

  8. terry fitz — on 26th December, 2010 at 3:39 pm  

    “Wake up sonny I,ve got somthing to say to you” sang Rod Stewart, I,m paraphrasing if that is that correct word. I,m only white working class.

    This issue was addressed by my good friend Mala Sen over thirty five years ago. Everyone knows it goes on so just buy the stuff and order your contact lenses.

  9. Don — on 26th December, 2010 at 3:46 pm  

    elena,

    I doubt that it has to do with looking Nordic. There is no indication that I am aware of that the Egyptians admired Northern Europeans.

  10. KJB — on 26th December, 2010 at 4:25 pm  

    Can we frame elena’s comment as a perfect example of cultural relativism, please?

  11. KB Player — on 26th December, 2010 at 5:53 pm  

    The Romans and Greeks non western? Well, that’s a huge blow to the West’s view of a couple of thousand years of history.

  12. douglas clark — on 26th December, 2010 at 6:08 pm  

    elena,

    Strange then that Rai Bachchan is considered by many to be the most beautiful woman in the world and a Miss World to boot! That said the left hand photograph does make her look ill…

    Reminds me a bit of a young Sophia Loren….

  13. joanne — on 26th December, 2010 at 7:49 pm  

    The obsession with white skin has, as I see it, little to do with wishing to appear Northern European. There are, after all, people of as pale a hue as any Northern European amongst some of the tribes of Northern India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. It is an appearance which has always enjoyed some renown; although I personally believe each and every one of us is beautiful.

    Perhaps the apportioning of value to white skin has something to do with the fact that many invaders,such as those from the Persian Empire would have had white skin which was thus connotated with power and militarism.

    And of course, the white skin of a Persian is more milky white than that of Northern European which is often more ruddy than it is white.

  14. jamal — on 26th December, 2010 at 9:08 pm  

    well i have seen pictures of aishwarya rai a lot darker i don’t even know what is her real skin tone to be honest, not as bad as michael jackson but hey.

    Is this any different than magazines airbrushing woman making them appear considerably skinnier than they are in real life. Pressure on young women to be this perfect size 0, light skinned super model is all around us.

  15. mostly harmless — on 26th December, 2010 at 9:45 pm  

    don’t know what all the fuss is about, she’s not all that

  16. douglas clark — on 26th December, 2010 at 10:24 pm  

    hot?

    She looks more than OK to me.

    Jamal @ 14,

    I know nothing about women’s clothes’ sizes, but is a size zero a real possiblity?

  17. elena — on 26th December, 2010 at 11:27 pm  

    Don, well my point was more that this all a matter of personal choice and that people have no right to judge others like this, but yes, the Egyptians used to wear blond wigs as a sign of nobilty.

    The Romans and the Greeks did the same thing as well as dyeing thier hair blond, so who do you think they were apeing?

    Douglas, that is all subjective. Having lived in India, I can tell you that Indians very much live to a tonal standard, with the lightest being regarded as the most attractive and the darkest as the least. Something, as a westerner, I could never understand, but prevalant nonetheless.

    And Joanne, I don’t how many Northeners you have seen, but thier skin is most certainly as white as it gets on this planet. A few may have ‘ruddy’ complexions, but that is the expection, not the rule.

    But again, my main point is if people want to use these creams, why shouldnt they? How is it any different to tanning creams?

  18. douglas clark — on 26th December, 2010 at 11:37 pm  

    Elana @ 17,

    Having avoided contact with anything outwith my West of Scotland ghetto for a while, I can assure you she is generally accepted as a good looking woman. A bit like Ayesha Dixon.

    Do you want me to do a survey or something?

    At what point does something become objective rather than subjective? I realise that the whole idea of feminine beauty is subjective, but there are women that most folk see as beautiful. And it doesn’t really equate to the sorts of racial sterotypes you were playing around with @ 7.

    It really doesn’t.
    ____________________

    There have been women on this thread saying she is beautiful as well as me. It is, of course, completely unfair but it is the truth.

    It doesn’t really matter what her skin colour is, indeed white scandinavians struggle to appear brown.

    And I was quite happy to have one hell of a tan once upon a time. Then my nosed peeled and I looked ridiculous. Rudolph possibly.

    If folk in India are that thick then it is their local culture not the culture outwith their country that makes them think like that. I have never heard, here or elsewhere, someone argue that depth of skin colour is the issue. Idiots on the other hand could use a shading card to differentiate between varieties of orange, where most of the daft bastards who speculate about this sort of shit get their tans. Tanning salons. But that is not, usually, their issue. It is about some sort of differentiation on the basis of black, white, brown or yellow.

    I don’t accept that division and neither should you.

  19. KJB — on 27th December, 2010 at 12:42 am  

    But again, my main point is if people want to use these creams, why shouldnt they? How is it any different to tanning creams?

    Um, well how about the fact that in the UK at least skin-lightening creams are illegal, and often contain dangerous ingredients – neither of which can really be said about tanning creams? How often do people end up in hospital due to their use of tanning creams?

    Furthermore tanning creams allow people to ‘fake’ tans, which are actually the skin showing its burning by the sun – can you cite me instances of skin-lightening creams that do that, rather than bleaching the skin?

    I’m pretty sure that there was a story of a husband who drove his wife to suicide over her ‘dark-skinnedness’ a while back as well, although I can’t find it. Given the pressure on women especially to be fairer-skinned, and the fact that darker-skinned babies are less likely to be adopted, saying that the bias towards fairer skin is simply ‘a matter of personal preference’ is clearly BS.

  20. joanne — on 27th December, 2010 at 5:31 pm  

    Too right, KJB!

  21. elena — on 28th December, 2010 at 5:54 pm  

    The hostility I am sensing here I find rather odd, but OK, whatever.

    Douglas, I didn’t say she wasn’t beautiful. She clearly is. I just pointed out to say ‘she is the most beautiful woman in the world’ is subjective. Of course it is. Each person has a different take on what’s attractive.

    And don’t try and label me now as some sort of racist for speaking my mind, and incidentally the truth. Just because you haven’t heard of something Douglas, does not mean it does not go on nor give you the right to imply someone is racist for saying it goes on.

    And as for the tonal thing, it is not just India it happens, but here in the UK too.

    http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23885981-whiter-shades-of-pale-that-provoke-black-racism.do

    And KJB, your article doesn’t say skin creams are illegal, it says that certain skin creams that are illegal contain mercury.

    Plenty of people have been put in hospital by sun tanning beds, in pursuit of the opposite effect to these skin lightening creams.

    I wouldn’t do either, but when people know the risks, and buy and use a legal product, what concern is that of yours?

  22. Soso — on 31st December, 2010 at 2:26 pm  

    Would it be any comfort to people here if I mentioned that every year 1000s of white people die from skin cancer because they’ve spent endless hours in the sun attempting to darken their complexion?

    What can one say? For a european fair is fair, but not-quite-so-fair is even fairer.

    Let’s put the question to Michael Jackson.

  23. douglas clark — on 31st December, 2010 at 6:53 pm  

    elena,

    The most beautiful girl in the world? Probably not.

    My argument with you, to the extent I was having an argument at all, is that she is drop dead gorgeous.

    I found your post at 17 a bit offensive to my ideas of what criteria we should apply to determine ‘good looks’. It is also the case that women who are caught in some sort of standardisation of what beauty is are being trapped into a sort of cultural relativism. Skin tone being, perhaps, the least of it.

    ‘Course it is superficial, ‘course it is no measure of worth, but the fact of the matter is that good looking women, and men come to that, are treated preferentially in our society.

    Which, naturally, is my excuse for being somewhat less successful than I might otherwise have been.

    By the way, if you thought I was accusing you of being racist, I apologise. Because that was never my intent. I do, however think you surrender to the consensus as if it were a ‘holy grail’ or summat.

    By the way, how exactly did Eastern women encounter these ‘Nordic’ role models?

  24. KJB — on 31st December, 2010 at 7:58 pm  

    I’m unsure how you missed this:

    Illegal skin-lightening creams are used by some black people and, to a lesser extent, some Asian people.

    You don’t seem to have been reading what I said – I noted that these creams are illegal, AND that they can contain illegal components. Kindly cite some instances of lightening creams that are ‘legal’ in the UK – I’ve not heard of any. I’m sure that there are steroid creams supplied for dealing with skin pigmentation or similar, but as far as I know, creams specifically for the cosmetic purpose of lightening skin are not legal.

    Plenty of people have been put in hospital by sun tanning beds, in pursuit of the opposite effect to these skin lightening creams.

    Yes – I’m well aware of that. However, you talked about tanning creams initially:

    How is it any different to tanning creams?

    So, stick to that and tell me how exactly tanning creams, lotions, etc. – which are a legal, regulated product (and even ‘sunbeds’ are legally regulated) are on a par with lightening creams.

  25. elena — on 1st January, 2011 at 5:25 pm  

    Douglas, I accept your apology and recognise that it takes a man to make one.

    But you did misunderstand that those were not my ideas, those are historical realities and I wasn’t subscribing to anything but merely stating facts.

    You say you were offended by this, and I truly believe that this is a major cause of corrosion in this country, that people decide to be offended routinely rather accept that not everything or everyone must conform to their ideas.

    As to your last point, Douglas, I didn’t cite any ‘Nordic role models’, but we do know that blond Europeans were in places as far as China 4000 years ago, so that may go someway to answering how exactly they may have came into contact in the Far East.

    http://discovermagazine.com/1994/apr/themummiesofxinj359

    I do hope you do not take offence at these historical realities too, or read something into them that isn’t there.

    KJB, you are the one claiming these creams are illegal, so I don’t really think it rests on me to prove that they are not, but in any case a quick search shows this NHS advice on them:

    “Non-prescription creams that claim to bleach or lighten your skin can be harmful”

    So just the first sentence clearly tells us that these creams are not illegal in UK as they are being prescribed in the UK.

    It goes on:

    “Medically approved preparations prescribed by a GP or a dermatologist are not dangerous, within reason,” says Rihal.

    A cream that you buy over the counter is not necessarily medically approved and could permanently damage your skin.”

    http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/skin/Pages/Skinlightening.aspx

    And the same search also found a shop based in Oldham that is devoted to the sale of skin lightening creams and is as open about it as it gets.

    http://www.ukskinlightening.co.uk/forms/contact-form.php

    So now you are aware that these creams are legal, and not as you stated in #19

    “Um, well how about the fact that in the UK at least skin-lightening creams are illegal”

    Surely now you must accept that it is purely a matter of choice and that the NHS advice is that these creams are not dangerous ‘within reason’ (and what isn’t dangerous outside of reason?) and so I would ask again, if people buy a legal product (and are aware of any risks) what concern is it of yours?

  26. KJB — on 1st January, 2011 at 7:07 pm  

    I already mentioned the steroid creams which you are talking about – I was asking whether there are legal non-prescription creams for the cosmetic purpose of skin lightening. You have not supplied me with an answer on that front.

    You are also yet to tell me how exactly tanning creams are on a par with cosmetic skin-lightening preparations.

  27. elena — on 1st January, 2011 at 7:36 pm  

    I am not sure if you genuinely don’t understand this:

    Skin lightening creams are NOT illegal in the UK, but creams that contain unprescribed corticosteroids and hydroquinone as well as mercury ARE illegal, just as these ingredients would be illegal if they were put into ANY other product for any other use.

    That is to say, to be perfectly clear this time, skin lightening creams in the UK are legal.

    It is creams with illegal / dangerous ingredients that are not.

    Skin lightening creams are even prescribed in the UK (and deemed as safe by the NHS) as well as sold over the counter in the UK and their sale is clearly an open thing in the UK, with entire businesses devoted to producing and selling skin lightening creams in the UK.

    There can be no doubt whatsoever that you are totally wrong that skin lightening creams are illegal and that that alone makes them on par with sun tanning creams:

    It is legal, it is a matter of individual choice and it is no business of anyone else’s to judge people that partake in a legal cosmetic routine of their choosing.

    Unless of course that someone else actually likes to judge other people and try to enforce their own morality code upon others.

  28. KJB — on 1st January, 2011 at 8:19 pm  

    That is to say, to be perfectly clear this time, skin lightening creams in the UK are legal.

    Well then, cite me an example. I’ve said that I don’t consider prescription creams – which are used to treat skin diseases and not expressly for the purposes of skin lightening – adequate.

  29. elena — on 1st January, 2011 at 9:02 pm  

    OK, KJB, as I said I wasn’t sure before if you understood that skin lightening creams are legal in the UK except for those (quite obviously) that contain illegal ingredients.

    And now I am sure that you do understand this perfectly but cannot accept when you are wrong.

    The skin lightening creams on prescription can also be used for cosmetic reasons, clearly, but those on sale over the counter and on the internet are exclusively for cosmetic reasons. And they are legal too.

    So you ‘consider’ what you want, the legal position, that is to say the reality, remains the same: Skin lightening creams are just as legal in the UK as sun tan creams.

    So the real crux of the issue is that you feel it breaches some sort of moral code of yours and therefore want them to be illegal.

    Oddly though you seem to have a massive problem with people lightening their skin, you don’t seem to have any problem with them darkening it.

    But at the end of the day KJB, it is entirely your own problem and issue. These creams are legal and if people so choose to use them, then quite frankly, it has nothing whatsoever to do with you.

  30. KJB — on 1st January, 2011 at 10:20 pm  

    So you ‘consider’ what you want, the legal position, that is to say the reality, remains the same: Skin lightening creams are just as legal in the UK as sun tan creams.

    Riiight… that’s why you won’t even cite me an example. I’ve tried to look up creams, and it’s not entirely clear what is allowed in the UK, which is why I’ve asked you to cite me a example. As far as I know, creams for cosmetic skin lightening aren’t legal in the UK, which is why I asked.

    So the real crux of the issue is that you feel it breaches some sort of moral code of yours and therefore want them to be illegal.

    Not really; I pointed out the risk of using skin-lightening creams and criticised your BS assumption that it is ‘just a matter of personal choice’, but I haven’t called for making creams illegal – you have. I think you’re a little confused. I think the sale of them should be regulated, which wouldn’t be possible if they were illegal.

    Oddly though you seem to have a massive problem with people lightening their skin, you don’t seem to have any problem with them darkening it.

    Well, you still haven’t explained exactly how sun-tan lotions are as dangerous. Sunbeds and sun exposure are certainly dangerous, as I myself acknowledge above, and I certainly don’t understand the urge to be orange. Perhaps if tanning creams were as frequently dangerous as skin-whitening creams, and pandered to the idea of a specific skin tone as superior, your observation might count for something.

  31. elena — on 2nd January, 2011 at 12:53 am  

    This isn’t a debate because you are clearly not an honest person and your whole premise is that skin lightening creams are illegal (although you now say it’s not clear, contrary to your previous definite statement.)

    So instead of accepting the bleeding obvious (you are wrong) you are just going to keep making absurd deflections.

    I have cited two very clear examples of how skin lightening creams ARE legal in the UK: Firstly, direct from the horses mouth, as it were, from the NHS advice site, with the appropriate motto ‘your health, your choices.’

    That advice, as you well know, is entitled: “Skin lightening risks” which gives you a good idea of what the whole article contains advice on. It clearly says that these creams can be bought over the counter and that some may not be medically approved. But it does not say they are illegal. In fact it says that they are safe when issued by a doctor.

    The second example is a shop based in Oldham whose entire business is selling skin lightning creams. Openly, publicly and, by the looks, very successfully.

    Seeing as you don’t actually know the legal position on these creams despite claiming you do, let me educate you:

    Products containing up to 2 percent Hydroquinone were legally available in the UK until 2001 when the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) issued the draft 24th Commission Directive. This banned preparations with Hydroquinone due to the long term effects as it accumulates in the tissues. The UK Cosmetic Product Regulations 1978 prohibits the use of Mercury compounds. Steroids are classified as a class ‘C’ drug unless proscribed.

    Any product that contains these ingredients are illegal.

    Skin lightening creams that do not contain these ingredients are legal and safe so I don’t why you keep claiming otherwise, it is entirely without basis.

    Some of the more popular ones on the market in the UK include: NUR76; Arbutun Skin Lightening Serum; Revitol and Euko Intense White Serum, to name just four.

    As for your last two ‘points’ that I have called for skin lightening creams to be made illegal, that is an absurd lie. Nowhere have I done this, I have done the opposite and gone out of my way to prove that they are indeed legal and that your absurd argument is based on wrong information (actually dishonesty as we found out) and your own predilection for judging others and trying to force your opinions on them.

    And of course people use sun tan creams and sun beds etc precisely because they want a darker skin tone, and that means that clearly they think it is ‘superior.’ Again, their own choice.

    So once more, here is the real position and reality for you: Skin lightening creams are LEGAL in the UK and their usage is merely a matter of personal choice. No concern of anyone else.

    Except those who like to concern themselves with other people’s legal choices and try to impose their own ideas on others.

  32. KJB — on 2nd January, 2011 at 2:30 pm  

    I had no idea that asking for an example of a skin-lightening cream counted as dishonesty. You have raved at me about how certain ingredients are illegal, and then linked me to one site.

    Some of the more popular ones on the market in the UK include: NUR76; Arbutun Skin Lightening Serum; Revitol and Euko Intense White Serum, to name just four.

    That was all I wanted, since I was not finding details of skin-lightening creams legal in the UK online. As far as I knew, they were illegal.

    It’s a bit rich of you, who has suddenly popped up on this site and started accusing me – someone who is actually known by the writers – of being dishonest. I have called on you to elaborate on your culturally-relativist views and you keep accusing me of ‘trying to force my opinions’ on you.

    Why don’t you now explain how it is that skin-lightening creams are equal to tanning lotions, as you have avoided doing so far? Citing the fact that some of them are legal isn’t an argument. You were the one who made this statement:

    How is it any different to tanning creams?

    If you’re going to make a direct parallel where there isn’t one, you’d better explain yourself. I have accepted that some creams are legal, but you keep dodging the question you yourself posed.

  33. elena — on 2nd January, 2011 at 4:12 pm  

    Well, no, I’m sorry but you are clearly not very honest KJB.

    First off you claim unequivocally, both to put me in my place and end debate:

    “Um, well how about the fact that in the UK at least skin-lightening creams are illegal”

    But when I make it abundantly clear that they are in fact legal, that only products that contain illegal ingredients are in fact illegal (as it would be for any product) you then downgrade your absolute statement of fact above but of course avoiding admitting you were wrong and proceeding to debate on that basis as honest people would:

    “It’s not entirely clear what is allowed in the UK”

    Now it has been made clear beyond any doubt that the entire premise of your argument was wrong and based upon falsehoods you try to pull the ‘I am a new girl’ routine and ‘I have more friends then you here’ rather then actually acknowledge that you have been trotting out nonsense and trying to rectify that for the sake of an adult debate.

    And the dishonesty continues with line such as:

    “I have called on you to elaborate on your culturally-relativist views and you keep accusing me of ‘trying to force my opinions’ on you.”

    When I have already made it clear that citing historical facts does not make them my views, and I am accusing you of trying to force your opinions on the use of sun lightening creams on the legal, free choice users of those creams.

    And there is more dishonesty here:

    “Why don’t you now explain how it is that skin-lightening creams are equal to tanning lotions, as you have avoided doing so far?”

    When I have clearly done so several times: They are both legal and they are both cosmetic products that are used to change skin tone. One is used to darken skin tone; one is used to lighten skin tone. So I ask you again, what is the difference?

    Provided both are free of illegal ingredients, both are perfectly legal, both are deemed safe for use ‘within reason’ (and as I have said, what is safe outside of reason?) and both are clearly an individual choice that is no concern of anyone else.

    But it is the product that lightens skin tone and not the one that darkens skin tone that you seem to have a massive problem with and decide is illegal.

    I would address that one if I were you.

  34. douglas clark — on 3rd January, 2011 at 2:55 am  

    elena @ 33,

    I am not very cool with your arguement

    It seems to me that colour matters to you.

    Would you personally use whitening cream? Legal or not? Or would you assume it was going to get you lots of dosh? Do you have a financial interest in skin whiteneing creams?

    Or is it just because?

    I am bored with your arguement. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is beautiful.

    My thought on this is that wheatish people, such as my good self, would see her as desireable.

    That might say a lot about men, but it says a fuck off a lot about not caring much about relative skin colour…

    Which has been your arguement all through here, has it not?

    You think, you are right? Correctly in a fucked up femisinst, anti-indian, anti-woman point of view, that you as right?

    Well, joy for you, and joy for them.

    I think you do down women of more colour than you. I think that is fucked up and wrong.

    In fact, I think that is racism….

  35. douglas clark — on 3rd January, 2011 at 3:17 am  

    It seems to me that people should decide who they want to fuck, and that idiots like elena @ 33 should be told to get to fuck.

    Your mileage may vary. But if it does, fuck you too!

  36. douglas clark — on 3rd January, 2011 at 6:19 am  

    A chap called Leon used to comment on here to the effect that children of mixed relationships were the biggest growing group in the country.

    I’d expect that to continue, as men and women refuse to not have sex with it people who are ‘other’..

    You it makes sense!

    And you pretend it doesn’t happen!

    Fuck the lot of you. You are on the losing, and completely wrong side.

    It does, ’cause love beats colour, beats notions about ethnicity, beats stupid religions, beats sense, even.

    That is what love is. It is something that binds, as opposed to the shit that tears us apart. It is a force for good. It is, frankly inexplicable, ’cause it is a weak force for good, unlike the religious shite.

    Which is a strong force for evil.

  37. joanne — on 3rd January, 2011 at 7:16 am  

    @Elena,
    “Oddly though you seem to have a massive problem with people lightening their skin, you don’t seem to have any problem with them darkening it”

    In and of themselves, they’re much the same.I think, as KJB pointed out, it’s the social and historical backdrop against which the whitening is occuring that’s problematic.

  38. joanne — on 3rd January, 2011 at 7:29 am  

    For example, darkness has historically been associated with rather negative forces. Take, for example, the way in which chocolate cake is called devil’s food cake whilst angel cake, which is light in colour, has connotations of purity. This may be a trivial example, but there are many more.

    Being pressurised into looking white is clearly not the same as being pressurised into looking a few shades of darker. Why? well, the tanned individual’s original skin tone carries no connotations of impurity nor is a white skin tone usually a basis on which to discriminate against a person (whether in marriage, employment or housing).

  39. elena — on 3rd January, 2011 at 3:50 pm  

    Clark, you are not even worth responding to. Your absolutely bizarre foul mouthed rant is devoid of any basis in reality. It means nothing at all, doesn’t relate to me in any way, and seems to be the product of drunken thug at a keyboard thinking he is ‘supporting his friend.’

    You don’t even know what race I am. Truly pathetic and I take it back that you are a man. Clearly you are more of a bitch. All be it the sort that needs to get soaked first, the worst kind of male coward.

    And I personally think there are racists here, with problems about skin tone in one direction of shade, and that aint me. I think you are a racist too.

    You should be ashamed of yourself.

    Joanne, my main problem is that of choice. For too long women have been subjected to judgements and restrictions in their free choices, usually by men, overwhelming by men, but not always.

    I don’t accept your arguments nor the dishonest approach of KJB because once again, this is all a matter of choice. Especially in the UK.

    Who is it that is ‘pressuring’ women into using either cream? Name them.

    What your argument boils down to is that one shade is more acceptable then the other, something I cannot and will not accept. I do not think dark = impure and light = angel and no one I know does either.

    If men really do discriminate for marriage on the basis of skin tone, then as unpleasant as that may be, that too is a choice. And they will undoubtedly continue to exercise that urge in any case.

    There are many ethnic specific housing associations in this country for every group so I don’t really think its fair any more to claim that housing is denied to people of colour, and the Equality Act allows for routine discrimination in favour of ethnic minorities in many areas, most especially employment (and we have long had the RRA) so I don’t think that assertion is fair or true any more.

    The reality is that even when Michael Jackson turned himself almost completely white, you could still tell that he wasn’t born that way, and I think the same is even more true of these creams.

    I don’t think the intent is change race but satisfy a woman’s own cosmetic desires. In other words their own choice.

  40. douglas clark — on 3rd January, 2011 at 4:05 pm  

    Cheers elena,

    You should be ashamed of yourself.

    Not so ashamed of myself to ask yet again whether you are part of the skin lightening industry?

    Are you, or are you not?

    I think we ought to be told….

  41. KJB — on 3rd January, 2011 at 9:05 pm  

    elena,

    I see you are now resorting to insulting others that don’t agree with you? Charming. A sure sign of a valid argument, that.

    I’ve been quite restrained with you so far, but personal abuse is a waste of my time. Either address the issues that joanne so concisely refers to in #37, or shut up.

  42. douglas clark — on 3rd January, 2011 at 9:25 pm  

    elena @ 39,

    Well, as I’m not worth responding to, thanks for responding.

    It is obvious that you don’t accept my arguments, I’d be astonished if you had an epiphany here and changed your mind.

    It seems to me that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. You seem set, correct me if I am wrong, in defining that as wheatiness. My question for you is at the behest of whom? Which skin cream company do you work for?

    You have made some ridiculous analogies about food:

    Take, for example, the way in which chocolate cake is called devil’s food cake whilst angel cake, which is light in colour, has connotations of purity. This may be a trivial example, but there are many more.

    It is a trivial, and as far as I know a completely wrong, comparison. Why is it I got to my age without hearing that chocolate cake was ‘devil’s food cake’?

    Perhaps it’s in an encyclopedia or summat. It is not the usual form of address in your local bakery.

    “I’ll have a bit of your devils food cake, elena, ta very much.”

    Pish poor argument elena.

  43. Ravi Naik — on 3rd January, 2011 at 9:53 pm  

    When I have clearly done so several times: They are both legal and they are both cosmetic products that are used to change skin tone. One is used to darken skin tone; one is used to lighten skin tone. So I ask you again, what is the difference?

    You made a good point, and it seems nobody is able to give you an answer. On the surface, there is actually no difference at all – some people think pale skin is unhealthy and ugly and want to tan their skin – others feel the opposite. In both cases, it is a matter of reaching ones ideal of beauty. There is also no denying that due to historic reasons, lightning your skin in the West can be seen as racist, because it means you are denying your race. But this is silly, in my view. Skin colour alone does not define race, and East Asians, North Indians and Iranians can have lighter skin than white Southern Europeans.

    What I find disturbing about white creams is the industry behind it, and the ads they put. Saying your prospects of success are dependent on your skin colour – or the way you are born – is repulsive, and I am not sure how it plays on Indian youth. Perhaps there are parallels here in the UK, but this non-subtle and crude message in India media is truly contemptible in my view.

  44. douglas clark — on 3rd January, 2011 at 10:27 pm  

    Ravi Naik,

    On the surface…

    Well, yes.

    Obviously. :-)

    ________________________________

    What I find disturbing about white creams is the industry behind it, and the ads they put. Saying your prospects of success are dependent on your skin colour – or the way you are born – is repulsive, and I am not sure how it plays on Indian youth. Perhaps there are parallels here in the UK, but this non-subtle and crude message in India media is truly contemptible in my view.

    And to the extent it pollutes our UK culture it is wrong here as well.

    And the argument is that skin whitening creams are about some form of freedom?

    I don’t think so. I think they are about advertising agencies playing on folk’s doubts about themselves. I think it is practically evil.

    That’s what I think.

  45. Ravi Naik — on 3rd January, 2011 at 10:30 pm  

    I don’t think so. I think they are about advertising agencies playing on folk’s doubts about themselves. I think it is practically evil.

    It is evil, Douglas.

  46. douglas clark — on 3rd January, 2011 at 10:33 pm  

    Ravi,

    Point taken.

  47. elena — on 3rd January, 2011 at 10:41 pm  

    KJB, you are not even remotely honest. Not one bit. I am the one having been subjected foul mouthed abuse here, being told to ‘get to fuck’ and all sorts of threatening drunken nonsense posted from 3 to 6 o’clock in the morning purely because of disagreement.

    But no, it is me who is now who you claim is “now resorting to insulting others that don’t agree with you.” That is as dishonest as it gets. Is this how you let men speak to you? Would you say nothing if a man spoke to you this way?

    But I am sensing a theme here. I genuinely thought the moderators would have removed that offensive off-topic drunken rant, but no, it is my reasonable retort that is removed.

    You will notice that your thuggish friend is ranting again #42, trying his best to be as nasty and insulting as he can without actually realising that he isn’t addressing me at all but Joanne.

    Whom incidentally I answered in detail. Not that is any of your concern either, and I couldn’t care less about your odd threats of ‘restraint’ and ‘shut up.’ You have no points to make of your own, none that are honest and so there is no debate with you at all.

    Ravi, thank you for one sane voice in all of this. An actual comment for debate.

    I agree in the main with what you are saying, and I pitch my argument more so for the UK then India (where I lived for some time) where realise that it may well be more complicated reasoning rather then simple cosmetic choice.

  48. douglas clark — on 3rd January, 2011 at 11:03 pm  

    elena,

    Are you, or are you, not allied to the skin whitening industry?

    It is a simple enough question. It deserves an answer.

  49. KJB — on 3rd January, 2011 at 11:17 pm  

    Ravi -

    The libertarian personal choice argument is all very well, but as you yourself recognise, it is only ‘on the surface’ that there is a parallel between skin lightening and tanning.

    Regardless of the existence of legal skin-lighteners, the illegal products continue to flourish (because some banned ingredients are apparently thought to be ‘more effective’), and there is no parallel illegal market for tanning creams. Tanning creams do not hospitalise people. People are not told that their marriage prospects are non-existent if they don’t get a tan. Do babies go unadopted because they are not tan? No.

    I think it’s disingenuous to claim that it’s just about beauty when the message is sent to Indians (both here and abroad) that, as you remarked, fairness = success and darkness = failure. That puts a massive premium on fairness, which I would argue unfairly weighs the scales in favour of fairness informing people’s beauty choices.

    Saying your prospects of success are dependent on your skin colour – or the way you are born – is repulsive, and I am not sure how it plays on Indian youth.

    That is exactly what I am talking about. Unfortunately, such problems are there for British Asians as well as for Indian youth – probably because diasporan Asians often become stuck in a time-warp and maintain the behaviours of the India they left, rather than the current country. My own educated mother (degree and a Masters) previously expressed relief that I was at least fair (before she realised there were going to be bigger obstacles than skin tone in my getting married…).

  50. douglas clark — on 3rd January, 2011 at 11:23 pm  

    It is kind of oddly touching to be known as KJB’s ‘thuggish friend’. And I know you refer to me elena, as you reference me as Number 42.

    I am fairly careful on this internet thingy. I do not go for the jugular. Indeed the substance of my post at 42 was to query where the fuck you had heard the term ‘devil’s food cake’.

    I stand by my assertion that it is not in common usage. Perhaps you can enlighten me as to the last time you heard it in a bakery or summat? Or on the street, or in the playground, or wherever else you hang out?

    You are playing games of innocence, when it is perfectly clear to anyone else that you have a vested interest in this subject. What that vested interest may be is anyone’s guess.

  51. elena — on 3rd January, 2011 at 11:41 pm  

    Clark, you got your answer and it was deleted, whilst your foul mouthed abuse remains. The answer remains no and the answer to your foul abuse is the same: It is disgusting and entirely without need.

    And still you don’t seem to understand that your latest rants are directed not at me but at Joanne, who made those comments #38. Why you don’t understand this when I made it clear in my last comment is beyond me. Maybe it is because it you who actually has some vested interest here? And I am sure Joanne is now as equally impressed with your thuggish technique as I am.

    KJB, and there is your vested interest revealed. But there is no equivalent illegal sun creams that I know of in existence because the demand isn’t there for them in the ‘west.’ The creams that exist are perfectly adequate for the job.

    This is all purely a libertarian argument, because unless you can prove that women are being physically forced or illegally coerced into using skin lightening creams in the UK (and feel free to if you can) then it is all still a matter of choice. Peer pressure pervades all societies in all areas, but choice remains choice.

  52. douglas clark — on 3rd January, 2011 at 11:54 pm  

    Well elena, I can only respond to your foul mouthed posts that remain here. I would be astonished that Sunny and Co would have deleted a post of yours’ on here on the grounds of bad taste or whatever. For I find that most points of view are allowed to stand here, and this thread isn’t even interesting. For you are wrong and everybody has told you that.

    No doubt you have saved said post?

    Perhaps you’d like to publish it again immediately after this one?

    For I don’t believe you were censored. I really don’t.

  53. elena — on 4th January, 2011 at 12:19 am  

    Clark, you too are as dishonest as you are debased. I haven’t posted any ‘foul mouthed’ posts at all, as you well know. That disgusting distinction was all yours. My only offence here is to have dared to disagree with a couple of people and point out the patently dishonest arguments being used, for which I have been subjected to quite a surreal and abusive ride.

    On that note, care to apologise to Joanne, by the way, now you know that the nasty attempts at humiliation that were meant to be aimed at me, were in fact aimed at her? Oh utterly bonkers.

    But seeing as you asked for the comment that was deleted, and to further illustrate that your ‘beliefs’ are quite out of step with reality, here it is again:

    You are out of your basket Clark. A nasty foul mouthed thug who screams sweary threatening abuse at women at the early hours of the morning when clearly under the influence of drink.

    Men like you are a menace to all women, a true coward. I sincerely hope no woman in the ‘real world’ is devoid of enough self-esteem to escape from your drunken rages and God only knows what else.

    Your new approach is equally demented and duplicitous. I am not involved in any such industry; you are just a nut case reaching around for justification for your disgusting behaviour as all substance and women abusers do.

    It’s my fault you abused me, isn’t that it Clark? I asked for it. I pushed you to it.

    Sincerely, seek help. You need it.

    And I stand by every word of it. If you had spoken to a woman like that in ‘real’ public place, any decent gentlemen would have put you in your place and most likely on the floor within seconds. How cowardly you do it on the internet instead.

  54. earwicga — on 4th January, 2011 at 12:45 am  

    Elana was censored, by me, douglas. PP doesn’t have to publish comments that add nothing to the debate and contain only insults. Pathetic ones at that. But I’ll not censor elana’s latest comment, as per your request.

  55. douglas clark — on 4th January, 2011 at 4:24 am  

    earwicga,

    Thank for clearing that up.

    elena,

    You are out of your basket Clark. A nasty foul mouthed thug who screams sweary threatening abuse at women at the early hours of the morning when clearly under the influence of drink.

    Men like you are a menace to all women, a true coward. I sincerely hope no woman in the ‘real world’ is devoid of enough self-esteem to escape from your drunken rages and God only knows what else.

    Your new approach is equally demented and duplicitous. I am not involved in any such industry; you are just a nut case reaching around for justification for your disgusting behaviour as all substance and women abusers do.

    It’s my fault you abused me, isn’t that it Clark? I asked for it. I pushed you to it.

    Sincerely, seek help. You need it.

    Really?

    We are talking here about skin whitening cream, which may, or may not be dangerous. You think I actually care enough about the subject to go out on a limb about it? This is not about stuff I care about dearly, like why we were lied to to go and fight in Iraq. Or what the fuck we are doing in Afghanistan. These are subjects dear to me. Skin lightening cream comes miles down my personal agenda.

    It is a tad odd that you find me threatening. I am not aware that anyone else that comments here finds me in the least bit threatening. Indeed I would deny writing anything threatening to anyone that posts here, and that includes you. Most folk that disagree with me usually just tell me I am wrong. Which is fair enough. I’ll assume you are an over sensitive soul from now on. Well, after this post is over, perhaps.

    You are ranting elena, because I don’t agree with you on the strange subject of wanting to ‘white up’ as opposed to ‘black up’. Neither is a desireable pursuit for adults. You are what you are and ought to be fighting tooth and nail to be recognised as worthwhile on the basis of all of what you are, not just the colour of your skin. It strikes me as a form of racism to think otherwise.

    At least you have cleared up the issue of whether or not you are employed in the skin lightening industry. You say you are not and I will accept that.

    So we are forced back to a consideration of your philosophy.

    Do you want everyone to be white? Is this some sort of anti-racist gig? I don’t get that impression. Is it about the freedom to do unto yourself whatever you wish, supported by the likes of Kismet Hardy of Asiana fame? Perhaps. Except you should at least question whether what you are being sold, wheatiness, skinniness, etc, etc, are not just a product you are being expected to consume. A product which can never go out of style until your albedo reaches 1 and your dress size equals 0. Yes, it is that ridiculous.

    So, what are we left with dear elena?

    The possibility that you are a freedom fighter on behalf of a libertarian view of what is worthwhile.

    Perhaps that’s it. Perhaps you are indeed fighting for women to be whatever they want to be. But, if that’s it, you really need to explain why it seems to be all about money. These products don’t come cheap. You are looking at damn near £75 notes a treatment. Which is outwith the price range of the poor. So we have a demarcation, based on desireability criteria, set by folk like you and affordability, set by companies selling this shit. And a happier little capitalist model we couldn’t wish to find.

    One final option does strike me elena. That you’ve used the treatment and it has worked for you. If that is the case it seems that the product has not actually delivered on it’s main claim, happiness. For you come on here and say stuff that is insulting to others – not me, I’m used to it – which suggests, to me at least, that you are losing the plot, or the argument or whatever.

    Thanks for reposting your bullshit.

    I am however left agog at your psychic powers. Am I drinking now? Do tell.

    Cheers!

  56. Sam — on 4th January, 2011 at 3:04 pm  

    Douglas,

    I am absolutely not a fan of skin whitening creams but your comment No 35 posted at 3am to Elena really did seem uncalled for.. Didn’t fully understand it myself, was that you or someone using your name ? That comment is reproduced below :

    “It seems to me that people should decide who they want to fuck, and that idiots like elena @ 33 should be told to get to fuck. Your mileage may vary. But if it does, fuck you too!”

    I guess it was the above comment that prompted the rash of comments from Elena accusing you of abuse, etc.

  57. elena — on 4th January, 2011 at 7:26 pm  

    Well I think I have said all I want to on this subject.

    I have clearly stated that I would use neither cream, more then once, and that the only creams that are harmful are those that contain illegal ingredients, and given this and the fact that both are legal it is clearly a matter of personal choice. I have not advocated the use of either cream, simply the choice too.

    And I have said that I consider the idea that it is racist for one tone to be used over the other is in itself, perhaps not racist, but certainly racial thinking, which lays at the root of that particular problem.

    There is nothing left to be said really except to reiterate this has been quite a surreal experience and far removed from anything else I have experienced in blogosphere. I expect lively debate, I do not expect, or accept what is clearly abuse for disagreement or reasonable challenges.

    I do not understand either why the censor considers a bizarre, and yes to me, threatening, rant at 3:17 am saying I should ‘get to fuck’ and another one at 6:19 am aiming ‘fuck the lot of you’ at me isn’t ‘insulting and pathetic’ but instead my quite natural reaction at being abused in this extraordinary fashion is.

    It all seems pretty strange and clannish to me, and most certainly far removed from the published mission statement of this site.

  58. joanne — on 5th January, 2011 at 1:51 am  

    I agree with Sam; that Douglas could have phrased what he said much better.

    I have read Pickled Politics for a number of years and and often enjoy Douglas’ contributions. I do feel that the use of such colourful, and at times hostile language, can definitely perturb new readers.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Pickled Politics © Copyright 2005 - 2010. All rights reserved. Terms and conditions.
With the help of PHP and Wordpress.