The Cult of the Crab

Some places go to the dogs. My state, on the other hand, is going to the crabs. The 62 million people of this state would like nothing better than to gloriously suffer from skin cancer (melanoma). I was at a supermarket a while back when I snapped this:

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What is wrong with us? Didn’t we all learn in our Biology classes in school that melanin is a good thing? That it protects us from harmful UV rays? People! We are brown skinned for a reason. We live in a tropical country. How do rational people pay attention to those obnoxious ads that promote “fairness creams”? Those ads actually seem to imply that being fair leads to more confidence and thus career growth.

Let me be absolutely clear here. I refuse to blame Proctor and Gamble and Unilever for this. In a free market economy, companies sell things for which there is a demand. So if we all suffer from skin cancer and die horrible deaths, there is only one thing to blame. Our own stupid skin-colour fetish.

Here are some nice posts on this:

http://indsight.org/blog/archives/2005/07/02/all-is-fair-in-the-f-airness-game/

Apparently, this is not just a problem in India.

http://arabist.net/archives/2006/08/05/the-cost-of-wanting-to-be-white/

PS: In case you didn’t get the “Crab” reference, the Latin word for Crab is “Cancer”

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3 Comments

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  1. You are labelling India’s most popular/famous product a indirect carcinogen? Good work. I’d say more but I have to go put on the Men’s Fair and Lovely I bought. I’m trying to get to RGB (255,255,255).

  2. At the person above: Huh?

    Well, the European superiority complex about their white-ness evidently got passed on to us at some point. And all matrimonial ads stress the word ‘fair’ (never mind that they use beautiful and homely in the same breath in those).
    We weep buckets at ‘racism’ yet we’re guilty of it right here.

  3. Obviously, we won’t learn. The funny thing is, even if you’ve been brainwashed into the fair is beautiful thing, you’re supposed to outgrow it over time. Maturity and all that. No evidence of that happening, three years after this post.

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