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  • Technorati: graph / links

    The problem of skin-whitening creams


    by Sunny on 1st April, 2010 at 12:11 pm    

    While out in South East Asia, I was blown away at this problem, and in two ways. Firstly, people on TV looked way whiter than most people on the streets. And I don’t mean they were just naturally lighter, but many of them were obviously airbrushed to look lighter. And yet in Thailand this as quite normal.

    Secondly, skin whitening creams were everywhere to the point I couldn’t buy a moisturiser (my skin was burning) that didn’t have whitening agents in it. Completely absurd.
    I have an article on the subject on Guardian CIF today…. but we know this applies to British Asians too as well as Thais.

    Just over a week ago, travelling through Cambodia, I noticed a small item in the Phnom Penh Post reporting that a skin-whitening cream was blamed for the recent death of a young woman. Chhuon Sovann, 23, from the Cambodian border town of Poipet, began vomiting after using the cream and had to be rushed to a Thai hospital and was later pronounced dead.

    A minor diplomatic kerfuffle ensued as it turned out the cream was being illegally imported from Vietnam. Some newspapers reported that health officials, backed up by paramilitary troops, started searching suspects coming into Thailand from Cambodia

    Rest is here.
    Some people are actually comparing this to tanning in the comments *sigh*

    Update: Just saw this NYT photo-article on - Bodies Altered in Pursuit of Beauty


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    Filed in: Race politics






    80 Comments below   |  

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    1. pickles

      Blog post:: The problem of skin-whitening creams http://bit.ly/b1pmPt


    2. Armstrongtwit

      Pickled Politics » The problem of skin-whitening creams http://bit.ly/bvAKi3




    1. Mr Eugenides — on 1st April, 2010 at 12:37 pm  

      In countries like Japan and Korea, pale skin (in women) has long been considered a sign of beauty.

      As you say in the article, it is partly because it traditionally signalled higher status and signified that people did not work in the fields, or what have you. What it certainly wasn’t, and isn’t, is a desire to look more like Europeans.

      I’ve run the skin whitening/racism theory past Koreans and Chinese of my acquaintance in the past, including girls who have used such products, and they were baffled and amused at the suggestion.

      I’m not saying that all Asians lighten their skins for the same reasons, nor that there is nothing unsettling about the lengths some women will go to to have whiter skin - but, for me, you’re indulging in a vast generalisation.

      The tanning analogy is relevant, I think, only in so far as it points to an obvious truth; sometimes people do unnatural stuff to their skin not for deep-seated socio-political reasons, but because they think it looks good. What we think “looks good” may have cultural baggage tied up with it, of course, but I don’t see commentators wringing their hands about the craze for fake tan; and nor should they.

    2. Sunny — on 1st April, 2010 at 12:54 pm  

      but, for me, you’re indulging in a vast generalisation.

      I’m not - I did say there were different cultural reasons. But the examples I found weren’t healthy at all.

    3. Yakoub — on 1st April, 2010 at 1:41 pm  

      In the Phillipines, people have surgery to make their eyes/noses look less ‘oriental’. Chinese people have their leg bones increased in length to be taller. Etc. The cultural dominance of the West pervades the world.

    4. Ravi Naik — on 1st April, 2010 at 1:42 pm  

      Some people are actually comparing this to tanning in the comments *sigh*

      In what way is it not like tanning? Both practices link skin colour to beauty, and both practices can be hazardous to your health. My family is Indian, and my extended is White.

    5. Ali — on 1st April, 2010 at 2:01 pm  

      What next?

      A campaign against tanning salons? Hair dye? Maybe coloured contact lenses should be frowned upon too.

    6. Kismet Hardy — on 1st April, 2010 at 2:36 pm  

      If I had a dump for every time a wannabe journo pitches this idea to the women’s fashion mag I work for, I’d have enough to block all the toilets in east London.

      The reason I never run these articles is because the answer is as obvious as it is depressing – the Asian community favours those with lighter skin. Hold the front page! And all these features amount to little more than the dark-skinned having a rant about being treated like second class citizens, with the fair-skinned adding insult to injury by the seemingly patronising claim that they wished they were more tanned…

      See, no one’s denying some of these products are harmful. Newsflash: improper use of mascara can blind you, lipstick contains lead… make-up isn’t designed to make you live longer, just make you look better. See, whereas once we were unanimous in our condemnation for bleaching products containing harmful, and in some cases, banned ingredients – it’s just stubborn to ignore the ones that have proven by respected bodies such as International Dermal Institute to be completely safe.

      Instead of saying lightening is wrong per se, it’s more worthwhile to point out which are safe and which are dangerous, because people will use them anyway.

      Controversial ingredients are hydroquinone, mercury and kojic acid. If the cream doesn’t include them (and most of the ones that aren’t hidden under the counter by dodgy types don’t) then it’s a woman’s right to use it as she wishes and the rest of us should stop being so sodding sanctimonious.

      What are you going to call for next? Women should love their natural beauty and be proud of what god gave them so throw away your make-up kit and let your spots shine?

      Because all ‘real women’ want to be plain and fat, right?

    7. damon — on 1st April, 2010 at 2:45 pm  

      If these creams could be made totally safe, where would that leave the debate?

      On a par with women in Asia using sun umbrellas, and generally avoiding the sun because they prefered not to get darker?

      I was a little put out in a shopping mall in Malaysia recently, where a man who was selling these skin creams at a stall, came up to me and tried to rub some on my arm.
      He pointed at my freckles and said his cream would fade them.
      I told him I liked my freckles well enough thanks very much. And to not tuch me with that stuff.

      Flipping cheek I thought.

    8. Dillion — on 1st April, 2010 at 3:18 pm  

      The aspiration to look European or empathise European traits especially of the Blond, is ancient and can be traced further back then the henna and blond wigs of Egypt and Rome and the gifts bestowed upon blond children in Greece into the Middle-East and the Far East.

      It used to be the desire to prove that one is indeed of aristocratic origin and good breeding and now seems to have carried forward and transmuted into aesthetics.

    9. Sunny — on 1st April, 2010 at 3:26 pm  

      On a par with women in Asia using sun umbrellas, and generally avoiding the sun because they prefered not to get darker?

      The question is - what’s wrong with being darker?

      Kismet: What are you going to call for next? Women should love their natural beauty and be proud of what god gave them so throw away your make-up kit and let your spots shine?

      Is that a problem?

    10. Kismet Hardy — on 1st April, 2010 at 3:45 pm  

      Is that a problem?

      There’s no problem in you feeling quite justified in thinking all these women who fuss over their beauty are shallow. You have every right to think so, just as they have every right to think that everyone here is bunch of dull, preachy blokes with sticks up their bums if they so wish, right?

      But it is a problem if they come out and say that you reading your popper and going to protests make you a bad person and all such intellectual pursuits should be banned, and suddenly the hypocrisy of you implying these women are inferior because they care more for make-up foundation over a political one starts to sit uncomfortably for those of us who don’t believe anyone has the right to judge another person’s personal choices.

      That’s called liberalism, remember?

    11. halima — on 1st April, 2010 at 3:46 pm  

      Kismet

      There’s something wrong if people think the only concept of beauty is to do with white - isn’t it counter-intuitive, all races are equal but seemingly white skin is more attractive? And the media machine churns it out and out and out. Yes, skin whitening isn’t a new idea and I am sure Marie Claire will continue to run the same article , but so what, doesn’t make it any less offensive.

      I am tired of people claiming, ah, yes, but it’s not how you understand it in the west, it’s not racist as such, it’s to do with dark skin being associated in the field etc , well surely that’s a stereotype, somehow being born of low rank is shameful or something. I can tell you all the women i know who wear skin whitening know nothing about the connotations of working in fields. It’s just a stupid excuse these days. Why can’t South Asians, Black people and East Asians all just admit there’s a problem - on the one hand we think all people are equal and in the same breathe we think having dark skin is a bit of downer - no-one will fancy you, marry you whatever. And the white folks are all confused anyway, coz to them we all look dark anyway.

      I am living in China where everywhere I go, Chinese women will comment to my white friends, ‘oh how lovely skin you have, not like ours where our skin is not so white and is ugly..’ and I am standing next to them, and am thinking, er, right, what am I supposed to say? Ask for the cheque?

    12. Sunny — on 1st April, 2010 at 3:56 pm  

      There’s no problem in you feeling quite justified in thinking all these women who fuss over their beauty are shallow. You have every right to think so, just as they have every right to think that everyone here is bunch of dull, preachy blokes with sticks up their bums if they so wish, right?

      I don’t have a problem if ppl think I’m nerdy and boring.

      But I’m not saying those who care abt beauty are shallow. I’m saying that those who promote the view that white skin is better and more beautiful are shallow, idiotic and racist.

    13. notmarvin — on 1st April, 2010 at 3:58 pm  

      Kismet: really good commentary.

      And for all those people are horrified that people are using products to lighten their skin I think Mr Eugenides comment is quite illuminating.

      Sounds like some people have a misplaced chip on their shoulder. “Why do you want to look like European whitey, stupid fool?”. Except they may well not want to look European.

      Isn’t the terrible Indian caste system somewhat based on skin colour?

    14. Kismet Hardy — on 1st April, 2010 at 4:13 pm  

      Let me break it down

      The Asian community (as a whole) think light skin is more preferable to dark skin

      The dark ones that suffer as a result have every right to fly the brown and proud flag

      But the ones that want to use a cream in the name of beautification should not be told they are shallow

      And companies that cater to these women by offering them healthy solutions, warn them of dangers, are simply reflecting society’s needs

      Of course, as a free human being you can judge away.

      (PS. No one thinks you’re boring. Opinions are what makes a person interesting, but I can’t help you with the nerdy bit) x

    15. Kismet Hardy — on 1st April, 2010 at 4:20 pm  

      Halima,

      I’m not talking about the community’s obsession with fair skin – we all know why it exists, that it has for many centuries, and it’s about as conceivable that a woman in India will go to her wedding without make-up designed to make her skin lighter as I am of getting laid this year.

      Women (and I excercise the right to generalise here given the topic) who buy magazines and beauty products are aspirational. Which is why for all the talk of ‘real women’ Vogue still uses skinny girls and Asian publications front fair skinned models.

      You can say ‘ooh the media perpetrates the myth’ but media is just a business and if people don’t buy it they go bust. So who’s keeping these businesses afloat?

      Women who want to be thin and fair.

      You may not like it, I can’t say I do either, but my job is to reflect society. I don’t share the pompous pretention that a fluff and bubblegum fashion and beauty industry can, or indeed should try to, change the world

    16. Paul Moloney — on 1st April, 2010 at 4:30 pm  

      I’m with Sunny here; anyone simply airily dismissing this phenomenaa as similar to tanning should perhaps listen to my young nephew of Sri Lankan/Indian descent who told me sadly last week in Malaysia “I wish my skin was white like yours”, or the fact my wife hated her skin compared to her more “European-looking” relatives.

      P.

    17. Wilfie — on 1st April, 2010 at 4:30 pm  

      Sunny,

      I am pleased that you have brought this issue up. Unfortunately, I feel as if you’re narrowing the concept of the issue to an indignation against the notion that “white skin is more attractive” - it certainly is a notion that should be condemned, but I feel as if you’re ignoring the wider aspect, which many people have brought up to you on here and on Cif, that there’s other pressures brought about against people’s natural appearance. I am white but I have afro textured hair shaped into an afro. I get pressurised about straightening my hair, as I know many black women and black men do, also.

      The same goes for ginger haired people, who also get stigmatised, and often are forced to dye their hair and desperately hide the root colourings of their hair. Particularly as far as young girls seem to go, being called “ginger” is deemed an insult for which many people get defensive about, when they’re mistaken for being ginger.

      I think you’re being too narrow on this subject, and need to focus on the fact that societal norms in general can often demand of people to deny their nature and their genes, for no reason but pure bigotry.

      At the same time, I don’t see why we should stigmatise those who genuinely want to change their appearance in some way or other. Ultimately, I’d rather people followed their own inclinations instead of cow-towing to how other people want them to look.

    18. damon — on 1st April, 2010 at 5:09 pm  

      Sunny @9

      The question is – what’s wrong with being darker?

      Nothing. But I can understand why someone with this complexion might want to tone it down a bit with make up - and stay out of the sun if it made the contrast even stronger.
      http://blogs.cornell.edu/jenna/files/2009/03/freckles.jpg

    19. Ali — on 1st April, 2010 at 6:06 pm  

      While numerous pale skinned ladies in Europe and the US desperately try and make themselves browner through tanning.

      What is it with we humans and our lack of satisfaction with ourselves and how God made us?

      I don’t personally believe the notion that “white skin is more beautiful” existed prior to European colonialism and the cultural dominance of the West.
      The famous Muslim traveller Ibn Battuta travelled more of the world than virtually anyone in pre-modern times and said the most beautiful women he saw were in Mali.

    20. Jai — on 1st April, 2010 at 6:22 pm  

      Isn’t the terrible Indian caste system somewhat based on skin colour?

      No, it’s based on hereditary ancestral occupations (which were not themselves dependent on — or based on — skin colour).

    21. Hyena — on 1st April, 2010 at 7:24 pm  

      Won’t post my whole response here but this might be of interest: http://www.lazyhyena.com/2010/04/pure-skin-or-pure-mind.html

    22. Laban — on 1st April, 2010 at 7:29 pm  

      It’s not necessarily pale skin per se, it’s pale skin in females. See the anthropologist Peter Frost’s “Fair Women, Dark Men”

      “In earlier times, in settings where people were of a similar ethnic background, the main difference in skin color was between men and women. This is because women have less melanin in their skin and less blood in its outer layers. In simpler language, women are fairer and men browner and ruddier. This older meaning has been largely forgotten in modern Western culture, although we still speak of the “fair sex” and the “tall, dark, and handsome man.” In other cultures, and in other historical periods, it played a key role in defining femininity and masculinity. Fair skin and dark skin meant different things to the observer.

      They evoked different feelings.With the rise of black slavery, the feelings that flowed from this earlier meaning of skin color took on a new role. And began to serve new ends … ”

      The foreword points out that “Although virtually all cultures express a marked preference for fair female skin, even those with little or no exposure to European imperialism, and even those whose members are heavily pigmented, many are indifferent to male pigmentation or even prefer men to be darker.”

      Frost says “Since higher-ranking men marry the more attractive women, the upper classes tend to lighten in color with each passing generation, as in India.”

      So Kipling wasn’t projecting his own views onto the villagers who say of Purun Bhagat “He is of the Plains - but pale-coloured - a Brahmin of the Brahmins.”

    23. KB Player — on 1st April, 2010 at 7:44 pm  

      European women used to whiten their skin, using white lead. Having white skin meant that you didn’t work outside like a peasant, just like bound feet for Chinese women meant you didn’t labour outside. Then in about the 1920s tanned skin became fashionable, along with the rise of beach culture. If you worked, you were working in an office, and pale, while the leisured could spend time outside.

      I remember all the girls in my school in New Zealand trying to get tanned, sitting outside at lunch time with their uniforms pulled up to their thighs. Then the skin cancer scare began, and people started to slap on factor 30.

    24. douglas clark — on 1st April, 2010 at 8:13 pm  

      KB Player @ 23,

      Interesting. I was listening to the radio this morning and apparently the incidence of skin cancer in people in their 50s and 60s, or maybe 60′s and 70′s, I forget which, has increased five fold compared to their parents generation. The medico on the programme put it down to tanning having really taken off with cheap continental holidays in the 1960′s.

    25. Rumbold — on 1st April, 2010 at 8:20 pm  

      The point is about extremes. Indian woman are frequently pressured to look lighter. Western women are not pressured to look darker in the same way.

    26. Alec — on 1st April, 2010 at 8:23 pm  

      >> Chinese people have their leg bones increased in length to be taller. Etc. The cultural dominance of the West pervades the world.

      What about crazes for platform shoes or shoulder pads amongst “Western” women?

    27. douglas clark — on 1st April, 2010 at 8:31 pm  

      Rumbold,

      I don’t think it is as prevelant now but a good sun tan was something that men liked and other women admired. So there were cultural pressures, I think.

      Given Sunny’s comment in the OP it would seem that it is not just women that are effected in Cambodia, at least. If the only moisturiser available had the skin lightening effect then presumeably Cambodian men were just as effected as their womenfolk. No?

      (OK, I can see a flaw in that too ;-) )

    28. Dalbir — on 1st April, 2010 at 8:31 pm  

      Kismet - But the ones that want to use a cream in the name of beautification should not be told they are shallow

      Yes they should. As should those dumb white girls who try and make themselves brown (or orange), through an adaptation of car spraying technology. I mean wtf!!

      No, it’s based on hereditary ancestral occupations (which were not themselves dependent on — or based on — skin colour).

      Jai, you’re ignoring the theory that lighter skinned Aryans invaded North India and foisted the caste system on the darker skinned natives (and others).

      The system is called varna with itself means colour. So there may well have been a conflated element of colour involved in its ideology.

    29. Rumbold — on 1st April, 2010 at 8:35 pm  

      Douglas:

      But it is a temporary thing. Few think that having a sun-tan will affect your marriage prospects. Girls without sun tans are made to feel bad by their parents.

    30. douglas clark — on 1st April, 2010 at 9:05 pm  

      Sunny,

      Your last sentence in the OP says:

      Some people are actually comparing this to tanning in the comments *sigh*

      There are a huge number of tanning salons around Glasgow, and although there is an arguement that they are merely there to launder money, they do seem to have a clientele.

      It is a subjugation to a societal norm, I think. I am more or less on side with Kismet Hardy. Folk should be able to do what they damn well want.

      ———————

      Frankly, no-one here would want my skin. No matter what your colour was. The only time I ever had a decent sun tan was when all the freckles joined together!

      ————————-

      I think, I think, that anyone that cares a fig about the colour of their skin has been ‘got at’. By a particularily pernicious advertising campaign. Although ridding ourselves of the meme that a good tan equals ‘healthy’ might be a hard sell.

      There are, apparently, 2000 odd deaths a year in the UK from skin cancer, probably attributable to overexposure to the sun. It would be far higher had the treatment of malignant melanoma not have been one of the few success stories in the battle against cancer.

      ————————

      Just on the ‘new prejudice’ @ 17.

      All three of my kids are ginger. And not a one of them would deny it or hide it. I know lots of ginger folk too, and I have never encountered the denialism you claim.

      In fact, you can buy hair colouring to make you ginger:

      http://www.style-hair-magazine.com/red-hair-color.html

      Still, anything for a story, eh!

    31. douglas clark — on 1st April, 2010 at 9:37 pm  

      Rumbold,

      But it is a temporary thing. Few think that having a sun-tan will affect your marriage prospects. Girls without sun tans are made to feel bad by their parents.

      Certainly a sun tan is a temporary thing. If I remember the arguement correctly, it is a reaction to solar radiation and is a defensive measure. (You should check that out, for it might be wrong.)

      I’m not so sure that looking ‘healthy’ didn’t increase marriageability prospects. I’d have thought, in a free market for getting hitched, both men and women would maximise their opportunities? And, ‘healthy’ is a good thing?

      Anyway, to get back to the point, it is the moment of attraction that counts. If the women or the man sees a future mate as meeting their own internal criteria, then they are unlikely to consider how their potential mate will look fifty years down the line, are they?

      We, men, will all probably look by then like Archie Bunker, that is guaranteed, and the women may look like Marge Simpson.

      ————————

      It is a sad fact that you may be right, but I suspect you are wrong:

      Girls without sun tans are made to feel bad by their parents.

      I don’t think that is true. I think the girls do it to themselves…

    32. Ravi Naik — on 1st April, 2010 at 10:03 pm  

      In what way is it not like tanning? Both practices link skin colour to beauty, and both practices can be hazardous to your health.

      My family is Indian, and my extended is White

      I accidentally pressed submit without finishing my comment. In my wife’s family, it is common to say that people look pale (or too white) which is to say that they do not look healthy and need to get some sun. This has no racial connotation (or self-hating sentiment) apart from linking tan skin colour to beauty. Why would it be any different for Asians, considering they link skin colour to beauty as well? In the West, blondes (nordic type?) are seen as more sexual attractive… people do not seem to freak out by any of this. However, in the West - where dark skin colour is associated to ethnic minorities and injustice - people seem to freak out when they find out that in Asia, there is a preference to lighter (not white) skin colour.

      What really bothers me is the sort of advertisements that one can see in Indian TVs, where women (and men) who are deemed unattractive are also unsuccesful, and then with this magical “beauty” cream, they are succesful. This obssession with beauty and success is really quite harmful specially to young people. The difference is that in the West, this sort of advertisement is far more subtle.

    33. fentonchem — on 1st April, 2010 at 10:48 pm  

      I suspect that there is a huge amount of innate attraction to light colored skin. The whiter the skin the more the lips and eyes stand out. Human lips are a huge sexual signal, they are an example of sexual self mimicry and are ‘fake’ vagina’s.
      When our, Michelle Obama colored, ancestors evolved into bipeds, the two major primate female sexual signals were lost; the red labia majora/minora and buttocks. Human females responded by turning their (and their sons) lips inside-out and by having over sized breasts.
      We males are VERY attracted to red lips, the bigger the better. The labia become bright red and engorged during estrus in primates, so women put on lipstick and have collagen implants.
      If you think this explanation is bullshit I suggest, in the spirit of scientific research, go on the internet and visit a pron site.
      You will note the huge ratio of white women to any other ethnic groups. Moreover, there are typically far less ‘pussy’ shots on the darker models than with the white one, instead the whole body and breasts/buttocks is emphasized.
      Sex and sexual attraction has a huge effect on our species; in neolithic sites the most common tools are stone dildo’s and the most common sophisticated objects are not knives/arrow heads, but finely carved bone combs.

    34. douglas clark — on 2nd April, 2010 at 12:33 am  

      fentonchem,

      I suspect that is a crock of shit. I suspect you know that.

    35. douglas clark — on 2nd April, 2010 at 12:54 am  

      Human sexual attraction, it seems to me, is about proximity and a lack of psychosis about what is right and what is wrong.

      It is psychotic - at least I think so - to ‘make believe’ that love hasn’t got something to do with it.

      To argue, if you will, that sexual attraction should be subservient to religious identity. To argue, if you will, that lurve does not beat religion, does not beat stone. I think that is a fucked up idea of humanity, so I do…

      I think love will always defeat ideology. And I think folk that subscribe to the idea of love are far, far better people than the ideologues. Or the folk that would place religion in the path of love.

      That is what I think.

    36. douglas clark — on 2nd April, 2010 at 1:21 am  

      To make the point more obviously, I couldn’t give a shit about the colour of the woman I loved. I’d have thought that was transparent..

      Only racists would try to avert that…

    37. Sarah AB — on 2nd April, 2010 at 7:29 am  

      I agree that there are many contexts in which skin lightening reflects an internalised sense of (racial) inferiority - in a way which tanning doesn’t.

      Dalbir - why are girls who use spray tans ‘dumb’?

    38. Trofim — on 2nd April, 2010 at 8:56 am  

      Thinking Aloud on Radio 4 dealt with this topic in Latin American context, for those who are interested, at 17 minutes 30 seconds: “Race and sex in Latin America”. It seems that the phenomenon is more or less universal.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00rmxbd

      Incidentally, if a preference for paleness is an artifact of western cultural dominance, then logically, the prestige factor of having brown skin, would presumably also find a manifestation in those parts of the world where that dominance still exists.

    39. George — on 2nd April, 2010 at 9:48 am  

      SOME OBSERVATIONS ON INDIANS & SKIN COLOUR

      1. South Asian are the darkest (mostly dark brown to near black) and also the most economically backward of Asian peoples.

      2. Hindus should be grateful for the succession of Muslim invasions from Afghanistan, Persia, Central Asia since 1000 CE. Intermarriage helped lighten northern Indian skin. Most of the invaders transited through Punjab. No wonder the Punjabis tend to be fairer and war-like. The Muslim invaders were not only light-skinned but better featured. (Compare an Afghan like Karzai and a Guju like narendra Modi.)
      By the 14th century, the Muslims had penetrated further south and dominated the Deccan and the Konkan. The Portuguese soldiers in the 16-17th century preferred Muslim brides in Goa – they were fairer and better looking!!

      3. Indians hate to recall that the colonial Brits called the natives ‘niggers’ routinely – after all the vast sea of peasants in loose rags toiling in the field, the coolies, etc were of pretty dark hue.

      4. Have you noticed how Simpsons’ APU is drawn coffee-dark to the great annoyance of US Indians? They have protested to Murdoch in vain. He won’t budge

      4. In Bolly movies, actors (especially the heroes) are shown light-skinned, giving the false impression to foreigners that Indians are a light-skinned people.

      5. Indians tend NOT to be favoured in global entertainment, adverts (or even porn) because of their dark skin. East Asians (Chinese, Koreans, Japanese) are seen everywhere. It’s not only skin colour – Indians (Hindus) also tend to be physically unattractive (contour of head) ; their skin is rougher and often looks dirty/muddy.

    40. Jai — on 2nd April, 2010 at 9:49 am  

      Jai, you’re ignoring the theory that lighter skinned Aryans invaded North India and foisted the caste system on the darker skinned natives (and others).

      The system is called varna with itself means colour. So there may well have been a conflated element of colour involved in its ideology.

      Whatever the origins of the term “varna” and the proposed historical events involved, the reality is that, in India, being lighter does not automatically mean that someone is of a “higher” caste than someone who is darker. There are literally hundreds of millions of people in India who are evidence of this fact.

    41. Ros — on 2nd April, 2010 at 10:30 am  

      Dalbir, was there an ARYAN invasion?
      The site http://archaeology.about.com says:
      “This story of Aryans as a cultural group from the arid steppes may not be true at allThe site says “the Aryan invasion theory is undergoing radical assessment by Indian archaeologists, using Vedic documents, linguistic studies…”
      A Wikipedia source adds: “modern research in India seems to contradict the Aryan Invasion Theory”..”

    42. Ravi Naik — on 2nd April, 2010 at 10:34 am  

      Whatever the origins of the term “varna” and the proposed historical events involved, the reality is that, in India, being lighter does not automatically mean that someone is of a “higher” caste than someone who is darker. There are literally hundreds of millions of people in India who are evidence of this fact.

      The term “varna” means colour in an abstract sense - as it includes colours that do not match skin colour. As Jai said, skin colour in India (among other features) can be used to distinguish people among the North and South divide, but not caste. High-caste South-Asians can be darker than low-caste North-Indians.

      However, it is natural that in the same region, high-caste individuals are lighter than low-caste because the latter tend to work in the sun.

    43. Ravi Naik — on 2nd April, 2010 at 10:42 am  

      1. South Asian are the darkest (mostly dark brown to near black) and also the most economically backward of Asian peoples.

      India was the wealtiest nation in the world in 1700 before the British invaded with 25% of the world’s wealth (ahead of China and had the same wealth as the whole of Europe).

      South India is generally more developed than North of India.

      British Asians are 4% of the UK population, but produce 6% of British wealth.

      In the US, Indian Americans are the most well-paid and the highest educated ethnic minority, ahead of any other Asian community.

      What is your point again against dark-skinned South Asians?

    44. Ravi Naik — on 2nd April, 2010 at 10:47 am  

      I agree that there are many contexts in which skin lightening reflects an internalised sense of (racial) inferiority – in a way which tanning doesn’t.

      Perhaps everyone wants to have light brown skin, either through tanning if you have pale skin, or through lightning creams if you have dark skin. :)

    45. douglas clark — on 2nd April, 2010 at 11:04 am  

      Ravi Naik,

      What you say @ 43 is obviously true. Why would anyone argue otherwise?

      It is completely ridiculous to argue, as our new friend George seems to do here:

      . Indians tend NOT to be favoured in global entertainment, adverts (or even porn) because of their dark skin. East Asians (Chinese, Koreans, Japanese) are seen everywhere. It’s not only skin colour – Indians (Hindus) also tend to be physically unattractive (contour of head) ; their skin is rougher and often looks dirty/muddy.

      I think that is just wrong. OK it is subjective, but a whole lot of Indian women are just beautiful. Am I supposed to reject the evidence of my own eyes?

      Am I supposed to pretend that I have not noticed that? Am I supposed to make a liar of myself?

    46. Dalbir — on 2nd April, 2010 at 12:44 pm  

      @Sarah AB: Dalbir – why are girls who use spray tans ‘dumb’?

      Watch a few episodes of Snog, Marry, Avoid to find out…..lol

      Maybe I’m being too harsh but the whole idea of being aerosol sprayed another colour seems weird to me. But then the whole female neurosis about their looks is a bit strange to me. I guess it is partially innate and partially the product of constant reinforcement of feminine worth being through physical appearance that is constantly pumped by society.

      No wonder the Punjabis tend to be fairer and war-like.

      You ignore evidence of the warlike characteristics of Panjabis prior to the birth of Islam with this nonsense. Read up on Sekunder (Alexander) and the whole Mahabharat thing. Plus as a Panjabi I can tell you, we come in every hue under the sun. Also specific reference to Panjabi Sikhs in many contemporary Moghul manuscripts of the 18th century refers to Sikhs as ‘black faced ones’. We might look a bit wheatish out here in the west but put us in our natural environment and see how many of us ‘brown up’ pretty fast.

      For the rest of you I concede to your points. I’m not sure if there was any Aryan invasion (or a Scythian one for that matter). I think the theories are pretty tenuous in terms of concrete evidence and possibly motivated by white colonialist ‘interests’. Your hue does not strictly correlate to caste although some morons believe this to be true (talk to an average Jat phudhu type for proof).

    47. Juv — on 2nd April, 2010 at 1:08 pm  

      Why can this not be compared to tanning?

      In most Asian countries, pale skin is a sign of beauty and is desirable. Women tend to keep their faces out of the sun so as to avoid a tan. Dangerous creams and bleaches are used in order to attain pale skin. And this is not unlike the situation in the UK, where many women feel unattractive and less confident without a tan.

      Some women are actually addicted to tanning and use sunbeds on a regular basis. This is deadly for their health and can lead to skin cancer and hair loss. This is different to wanting to achieve a healthy glow as for some, the darker tan, the better. Similarly, for some Asians, the whiter the skin, the better.

      When will people start being happy in their own skin? What is happening in the West is a parallel of the East. Vanity is taking precedence over health and people are being fooled into believing they are unattractive.

    48. AngryAzn — on 2nd April, 2010 at 2:13 pm  

      “Isn’t the terrible Indian caste system somewhat based on skin colour?”

      Why do retarded white people comment on shit they don’t know? Want your head bashed in?

      And George:

      I hope you’re killed in an ‘encounter’ (if you’ve been to india you’ll know what that means)
      Dark skin is dirty/muddy? Want to be run over do you?

      Dumbbold:

      Stop commenting about indians you fucking ‘tard, No Indian is ‘forced’ to look like a Gora piece of shit, it’s their choice sadly.

    49. AngryAzn — on 2nd April, 2010 at 2:17 pm  

      “But I’m not saying those who care abt beauty are shallow. I’m saying that those who promote the view that white skin is better and more beautiful are shallow, idiotic and racist”

      Yeah, but you’ve created a blog where a dumb leftist like Rumbold can shift the skin problem on India, knowing his retarded ancestors were invaders there.

    50. douglas clark — on 2nd April, 2010 at 2:19 pm  

      Dalbir @ 46,

      Excellent comment. Either you’ve grown up or I’ve grown senile.

    51. Dalbir — on 2nd April, 2010 at 2:23 pm  

      @50

      Maybe both?

    52. Ravi Naik — on 2nd April, 2010 at 2:30 pm  

      For the rest of you I concede to your points. I’m not sure if there was any Aryan invasion

      There was an invasion, Dalbir. But the real “Aryans” were people from central Asia - the epicenter of all Indo-Aryan languages - who migrated West to Europe and East to Iran and India.

      The British wanted to justify their presence in India as well as justify the white supremacist ideas that became common place in Europe from the 18th century. It was difficult to justify how ancient Indian science and mathematics was in a lot of ways superior than anything that Europe had come up at that stage, so the Aryan invasion theory, where Aryans were originally from Europe, served to back up that narrative.

    53. douglas clark — on 2nd April, 2010 at 2:31 pm  

      AngryAzn,

      You say:

      Yeah, but you’ve created a blog where a dumb leftist like Rumbold can shift the skin problem on India, knowing his retarded ancestors were invaders there.

      Frankly that is a load of shit. Frankly you are a load of shit.

      Firstly, the opinion piece is by Sunny Hundal.

      Secondly, Rumbold has said nothing that a dumb fuck such as you could argue against.

    54. douglas clark — on 2nd April, 2010 at 2:41 pm  

      Dalbir @ 51,

      :-)

      Maybe.

    55. Dalbir — on 2nd April, 2010 at 2:54 pm  

      Ravi@52

      It was difficult to justify how ancient Indian science and mathematics was in a lot of ways superior than anything that Europe had come up at that stage, so the Aryan invasion theory, where Aryans were originally from Europe, served to back up that narrative.

      I’ve been reading a lot of contemporary accounts regarding the Sikh kingdom lately. I think it may well have been richer than any European country of that period. Certainly the place is, even now, more prosperous than many poorer Eastern European states.

      You’re right, Aryans were originally from the mideast. This was/is blatantly an example of motivated whiteist fiction by people like Rose, Ibbetson etc.

      As has been pointed out previously on this forum, sadly some people from the subcontinent have totally absorbed these alien ideas into the ‘marrow of their minds’ adding an even further dimension to the cracks that prevent cohesion in Punjabi society.

    56. george — on 2nd April, 2010 at 5:39 pm  

      I seem to have riled a few people. No offence intended.
      Ravi Naik #43 said: India was the wealtiest nation in the world in 1700 before the British invaded with 25% of the world’s wealth (ahead of China and had the same wealth as the whole of Europe).
      Sorry, I can’t accept this without some evidence. This may not be an academic forum but we should be preapred to substantiate if asked.

      Ravi said:
      British Asians are 4% of the UK population, but produce 6% of British wealth.
      Again I don’t know where he got these figures. But what of India? Nearly half the population live on Rs 15 a day [Tendulkar Committee) and another 300 million live on Rs 15-20 a day. [Arun Sengupta report c2006]

      Ravi went on:
      In the US, Indian Americans are the most well-paid and the highest educated ethnic minority, ahead of any other Asian community.

      I have heard this bald statement before and don’t believe it. Are you saying that the US Indians are more prosperous than the Koreans, Chinese and Japanese? Evidence please.

      And then Ravi asks:
      What is your point again against dark-skinned South Asians?
      It is he who deflected from the issue by boasting about Indian diaspora wealth in UK and US.
      My point is that Indians are very colour conscious and a recent BBC website piece wrote of the success of the skin-lightening cream Fair and Lovely Now the males have their Fair and Handsome and none other than Shah Rukh Khan (rather dark himself) is the sponsor.
      A related point: why is Bollywood obsessed with lightening up the actors? When I showed the DVD on Jodaa Akbar an East European present wondered why most of the actors were so fair when Indians are genrrally quite brown.
      I have said that Indians are found unsuitable for UK entertainment programmes where skin is exposed like the one presented by the Chinese guy Gok Kwan.

      It is possible that their dark hue and poor communication skills have sapped their confidence. Indians are at their best unseen in back offices looking at balance sheets. They are graceless face to face with other groups. Look at PM Manmohan Singh at Summits - he hangs about with his vacuous expression and has nothing to say. Ever deferential to western leaders.

    57. Katy Newton — on 2nd April, 2010 at 5:45 pm  

      Secondly, skin whitening creams were everywhere to the point I couldn’t buy a moisturiser (my skin was burning) that didn’t have whitening agents in it.

      Sunblock, that’s what you needed.

      I think the truth is that some brown-skinned people want to be paler because they want to look more “western” and some people want to be paler because they want to look fashionable, without thinking about why it’s fashionable. It’s probably quite difficult to tell where the line is between them.

      I’m with Sunny in his makeup-free utopia, personally, although I also understand where Kismet’s coming from. And more to the point, so are most of the blokes I’ve been out with: as a rule, they’ve preferred me without makeup.

    58. Ravi Naik — on 2nd April, 2010 at 6:04 pm  

      Here are my references:

      India was the wealtiest nation in the world in 1700

      British Asians are 4% of the UK population, but produce 6% of British wealth.

      In the US, Indian Americans are the most well-paid and the highest educated ethnic minority, ahead of any other Asian community. Yes, that includes Koreans, Japanese and Chinese:

      In 2007, the median income of households headed by an Indian American was approximately $83,000, compared with $61,000 for East Asians and $55,000 for whites.

      You are totally clueless, George.

    59. Ravi Naik — on 2nd April, 2010 at 6:19 pm  

      It is possible that their dark hue and poor communication skills have sapped their confidence

      You clearly have some resentment against people of Indian origin. Why, George?

    60. billaricaydickey — on 2nd April, 2010 at 6:33 pm  

      My good friend Mala Sen has been banging on about this for over thirty years. Lokk at the Asian and black press, they sell this stuff all the time.

    61. Desi Expat — on 2nd April, 2010 at 6:43 pm  

      I think “George” is just trolling here, trying to get a reaction. I don’t see the point in trying to counter any of his racist BS points.. He obviously has some kind of issue against people from India or with Indian Ancestry.

    62. KJB — on 2nd April, 2010 at 8:21 pm  

      Kismet - I think you’re totally missing the point about what Sunny’s saying. Nowhere in his article did he make out that women were shallow or stupid for wanting to look a certain way.

      And let’s be honest about this issue. British Asians might fit into all your ‘liberalism’ blather, but in India (perhaps elsewhere too), it is often older women and men who put pressure on women to be light-skinned. Then there’s the influence of the media, both Indian and Western etc. etc. There was that instance (documented on here, I think) not that long ago where a man drove his wife to suicide by telling her she was ‘too dark’ constantly.

      My mother, when worrying about my marriage prospects would often say things like ‘At least you’re not dark.’ I got a lot of stares and a creepy comment in India - ‘Look at that lovely, fair girl!’ That was from an old lady.

      I have to admit that at times I do find it handy in a way, not looking very obviously Asian. It sometimes means that I avoid judgemental stares from Asian women and staring/leering from Asian men when I’m doing something ‘wrong,’ like going for a walk with a male person who’s clearly not a relative. Nonetheless, there is a dress/hairstyle code which still marks you out as Asian, though I tend to avoid that too!

      George and AngryAzn are both racist trolls - I suspect I’ve seen AngryAzn on PP before in a different guise - there was a Hindutva troll who also referred to him most imaginatively as ‘Dumbbold’. George certainly has form on this, as I’ve seen him show up with his 19th-C pseudo-scientific bullshit before. What next - phrenology? Please can Ravi and others, therefore, just not bother with them? It’s a waste of time. And can we have a delete, o mods? This kind of trash adds 0 to the debate. Rumbold is not around, so someone else has to do it.

    63. Samir — on 3rd April, 2010 at 7:16 pm  

      Ravi Naik
      “Here are my references:

      India was the wealtiest nation in the world in 1700 ”

      At the end of centuries of Muslim rule
      So why do Hinduvata idiots and other Islamophobes claim that Islam impoverished India when it clearly did the exact opposite, making it the richest nation on earth ?

    64. Dalbir — on 3rd April, 2010 at 7:39 pm  

      So why do Hinduvata idiots and other Islamophobes claim that Islam impoverished India when it clearly did the exact opposite, making it the richest nation on earth ?

      Here we go again….

      Maybe it was already rich before Abdullah crawled out of the desert and pounced on it?

    65. Dalbir — on 3rd April, 2010 at 7:46 pm  

      Maybe this influenced their decision to attack in the first place? Or……perhaps the motivation to do this was simply recreational? Take a wild guess Samir.

    66. George — on 3rd April, 2010 at 8:23 pm  

      Hi DesiExpat and Ravi
      First of all, thanks for providing the evidence for earlier statements about India and US Indians. But India itslef has been a disaster - devoid of innovation and rationality. Still stuck with their gods and gurus.

      And stop acting as amateur psychiatrists.
      My real concern is that Indians haven’t come to terms with their skin tone - going by their fixation with skin creams. And look at Bollywood - ashamed of dark actors and creating an illusion of light-skinned people. And of course Bolly nevers wins at Cannes or Hollywood but Korea and China have. So why are Bolly themes so silly? Why do the actors use an Endlish word in every second sentence? Is Hindi vocabulary that deficient?

      It is possible that South Asian dark skin is an obstacle for their inclusion in global entertainment. Hollywood considers tends to regard Indian actors as figures of fun. What big roles has Sean Penn got?

      Crossing the bounds of this subject, Indians have achieved nothing on the international scene. Have they ever proposed some major initiative? The Chinese are everywhere and also Iran and Brazil.
      But India is happy to be a humble client of the US and Israel.
      Can you honestly assert that any Indian PM has displayed leadership qualities or has any intelligent to say at a global forum? I have watched Manmohan Singh as the G20 Summit in London. The leaders or reps of Japan, Brazil. Mexico. Indonesia spoke confidently at a BBC debate. But where was Singh? He was nowhere to be found. He did appear at the dinner table - a folorn figure with a vacuos expression. A Summit is also a social encounter but Indian leaders lack basic social graces and the art of small talk as Naipaul pointed out in his 1960s writings.

      Another thing: India is unknown in international sports (track or field). A few years ago, its FIFA ranking in football was actually behind Bahrain. Can you believe this?
      And finally a third of the world’s poorest people live in India. A third are illiterate; 40% of the world’s malnourished children are in India. Half of India’s population live on under Rs 15 a day and another 300 million on less than Rs 20. Meanwhile most of the MPs are millionaires and quite a few criminals. How come this is possible in s democracy?

      All this makes me sad. Right now, a massive force is deployed in the forests of Central India to get at the Maoists who help the persecuted tribals. The state is ready to kill its own citizens! Surely India is a failed state.
      Dear Ravi and Desi Expat, be fair and tell me what India has achieved after 60 years of independence.

    67. Ravi Naik — on 3rd April, 2010 at 8:58 pm  

      It is possible that South Asian dark skin is an obstacle for their inclusion in global entertainment. Hollywood considers tends to regard Indian actors as figures of fun

      Check Heroes, Lost, ER, Big Bang Theory, all shows that have the highest ratings in the US, where Indian protagonists are dark, intelligent and attractive.

      Dear Ravi and Desi Expat, be fair and tell me what India has achieved after 60 years of independence.

      Space research, supercomputing and software industry, oceanography research, pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, top technological universities in the world (IIT), robust auto industry, free press and secular democratic institutions - despite all the problems you mentioned.

      All this makes me sad

      I am sure it does.

    68. Dalbir — on 3rd April, 2010 at 9:31 pm  

      It is possible that South Asian dark skin is an obstacle for their inclusion in global entertainment.

      What about Jay Sean?

      Recently he’s been doing A LOT better globally than Robbie Williams and other miscellaneous white boys. His brown skin doesn’t seem to have been much of an obstacle in the US, only here in the UK. What does that tell us about deeply ingrained negative perceptions in Britain?

    69. KJB — on 3rd April, 2010 at 11:15 pm  

      Dalbir and Ravi - WHY ARE YOU FEEDING THE TROLL?! Seriously, I know you are both of the stubborn persuasion, but are you really both so desperate to waste your time?

      Let me ask a couple of questions:

      Dear Ravi and Desi Expat, be fair and tell me what India has achieved after 60 years of independence.

      Why, George? Firstly, why is it the job of other people to do what you ought to get off your arse and do yourself? There are plenty of good modern histories of India - you could start with the Cambridge series.

      Secondly, why on Earth do you deem yourself so important that this should be done for you? Why should India and Indians have to prove themselves to you?

      I’m not hoping too hard for answers to these Qs because I know all too well that you are a troll.

      Dalbir - re: Jay Sean - you may have picked a bad example there. Estelle and many other UK music acts had the same problem as Jay Sean (in that they had to go to the US to ‘blow up’) - the problem is not so much one of ‘deeply ingrained negative perceptions’ (though I’m in no way denying it’s a factor) as it is one of proper promotion/record label support and authenticity/authority. I think the differing histories of South Asian immigration to the UK and US also have a role to play, but I’m not going to bore you senseless…

    70. Ashley — on 5th April, 2010 at 10:38 am  

      It’s not a crime to look more beautiful. There probably is so much pressure to look more beautiful because of TV personalities, and magazine models who are more or less fairer and whiter than the average woman. However, dying over it…is not a good idea. And yes, tanning is just as bad because tanning is actually damaging your skin. While some skin lightening creams actually does the opposite.
      I think that people should just be careful with the products they use. avoid those with hydroquinone and mercury.
      Because admit it, there might not be something wrong with being tan, but over the centuries, whiter girls are always preferred than the darker ones.

    71. Jai — on 6th April, 2010 at 11:39 am  

      I see this debate has been taking an interesting route during my absence over the weekend. I also agree with the remarks by KJB about ignoring the deliberate trolling by “George”, although it’s amusing seeing the continuing legacy of certain 19th century colonialist ideologies, historical revisionism and pseudo-scientific “theories” in action. An excellent example of someone who unwittingly proves the point perfectly.

      A belated response to the following:

      There was an invasion, Dalbir.

      Even that has now been questioned in numerous quarters. There were certainly waves of “Aryans” migrating into India from central Asia over a long period of time (with ancestral ties to various groups which became Persians, Southern Europeans etc); however, this doesn’t necessarily mean it literally involved large-scale military invasions or the subjugation of the local populations, regardless of Victorian propaganda on the subject.

      In any case, as Ravi has accurately summarised in #52…..

      The British wanted to justify their presence in India as well as justify the white supremacist ideas that became common place in Europe from the 18th century. It was difficult to justify how ancient Indian science and mathematics was in a lot of ways superior than anything that Europe had come up at that stage, so the Aryan invasion theory, where Aryans were originally from Europe, served to back up that narrative.

      …..the “Aryan Invasion Theory” (in its conventional orthodox form) was part of the fabricated racial concepts and historical revisionism deliberately perpetrated during the colonial era, from the end of the 18th century/start of the 19th century onwards. Basically, they made it up. The AIT has been discredited by modern historians.

    72. Ravi Naik — on 6th April, 2010 at 11:48 am  

      Dalbir and Ravi – WHY ARE YOU FEEDING THE TROLL?! Seriously, I know you are both of the stubborn persuasion, but are you really both so desperate to waste your time?

      Why, George? Firstly, why is it the job of other people

      KJB - two things. First, it is up to me to decide who is a troll and who isn’t - we do not need to find consensus on that one. Second, if you consider George to be a troll and you are asking me not to feed him, I do not think you should either by engaging with him with a set of questions.

    73. George — on 6th April, 2010 at 12:04 pm  

      Who is this KJB or is ti KGB?
      And what’s a troll and how do you identify one?
      I am not looking for answers just for myself. India aspires to be a global power and buys nuclear subs, aircraft carriers etc when half its population lives of under Rs 15 a day, half don’t have electricity, a third are illiterate and no safe drinking water etc etc.
      This lopsided approach of India should concern this South Asian forum. Look at China - a shining example of rational planning and intellectual acuity. Why is the Chinese mind and vision so superior?

      I agree in ER, the Indian girl had a good role but the India guy in Big Bang Theory is a joke. He is just a hanger-on - asked to mumble a few incoherent lines now and then.
      And Sean Penn is hardly impressive.
      And don’t forget APU in Simpsons. Then on Brit TV, there is that pathetic Kulvind making faces - is that the only he can get attention?

    74. Ravi Naik — on 6th April, 2010 at 2:51 pm  

      Look at China – a shining example of rational planning and intellectual acuity. Why is the Chinese mind and vision so superior?

      George, it is difficult not to be impressed by China and how much it has achieved in the last 60 years. Their infrastructure is advanced and is miles ahead of India. You feel that when you set foot in Mumbai and compare to Chinese cities like Shenzhen, Shanghai or Beijing.

      Still, the development of India is sustainable because it is largely driven by the private sector, despite the failings of the government. In China, all development is performed by a totalitarian state. Which means that eventually when the masses revolt and state collapses, the Chinese economy will crumble with it.

      I agree in ER, the Indian girl had a good role

      There is Heroes and Lost, where the characters are portrayed by South Indian actors.

      And Sean Penn is hardly impressive.

      Sean Penn is Irish, no?

      And don’t forget APU in Simpsons

      What is wrong with Apu? You keep mentioning him as if your point was self-evident. Over the years, there have been several episodes dedicated to him, and the show’s portrayal of India and the Indian community in the US is very positive.

      And, of course, there is an award-winning article written by Rohin.

    75. KJB — on 6th April, 2010 at 11:55 pm  

      KJB – two things. First, it is up to me to decide who is a troll and who isn’t – we do not need to find consensus on that one.

      What was I saying about stubborn? Look, Ravi, if you want to waste your time, feel free. I’m not sure you quite understand what a troll is, though. Let me give you the acknowledged definition:

      In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room or blog, with the primary intent of provoking other users into an emotional response[1] or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.[2]

      Now I don’t care whether you want to engage George or not - go right ahead. The fact remains that his comment was deliberately full of inflammatory nonsense, and the only time I’ve seen him on here before he posted exactly the same kind of thing, but it was about Hindus in particular.

      Second, if you consider George to be a troll and you are asking me not to feed him, I do not think you should either by engaging with him with a set of questions.

      Fair point *doffs imaginary cap*. Which brings me back to George, ironically enough…

      he India guy in Big Bang Theory is a joke. He is just a hanger-on – asked to mumble a few incoherent lines now and then.

      This is blatantly untrue. How many episodes have you actually seen?! I’ve only seen about 3, but Raj was far from ‘mumbling’ in any, and one of them centred on him.

      Why is the Chinese mind and vision so superior?

      Well, it helps that the Chinese never had a foreign government draining the country’s resources, failing to invest in the right things (railways, as opposed to irrigation - see here for further details), and either refusing to actually introduce legislation that adequately addressed India’s various social evils, or deliberately not enforcing existing legislation.

      Just one of the things I’d like to know is WHY the British brought in a bill to raise the age of consent for Indian girls to 12 in 1891, then acquitted most of the men brought to trial for breaking this law. India has struggled post-Independence, but I don’t think you (or many people for that matter) have the slightest clue just how bad an example the British in India set. Most of the benefits arising from their rule appear to have to been incidental rather than deliberate. ‘Civilising mission,’ my arse!

    76. sonny — on 7th April, 2010 at 9:47 am  

      kismet seems to be upset people might be attacking the industry she works in, when no one cares about women being so obsessed with beauty and make up (nothing wrong with that imo), but about the wider racism that affects the ‘makeup’ these non white women are using. pathetic. no wonder nothing changes. shes probably light skinned. though yes, there should probably be more knowledge of the creams that arent harmful so people dont use the dangerous ones.

      i cant imagine any white person saying they were getting a tan to look more asian or black. i dont think ive ever heard a white person say that. not that asians trying to get light want to look ‘white’ per se either, but something about getting closer to whiteness is ingrained in all of us. its fucking creepy. eg - a thai girl i met last week told me how she thought european features were closest to perfection. not many white people would say something like that. they just wanna look like european white people (but seem to keep getting it hideously wrong, witness all the orange women walking around).

    77. AndyB — on 8th April, 2010 at 9:41 pm  

      @ 58 - Ravi

      Interesting links. Unless I am missing the point (which is always possible) - the GDP figures are not on a per capita basis are they?

      Do GDP per capita figures present the same picture?

      thanks

    78. KJB — on 8th April, 2010 at 9:52 pm  

      sonny - Kismet is a ‘he.’

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