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In India’s Huge Marketplace, Fair Skin Sells

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Rama Lakshmi, MSNBC, January 27, 2008

The TV ad shows an Indian movie star walking on a beach, flaunting his brand-name sunglasses and his six-pack abs. A white woman in a black bikini drops on the sand from nowhere, and then another woman drops down. Soon, a bevy of white models literally falls from the skies, and the movie star runs for cover.

A green-eyed model from Iceland puts her arms around him and whispers seductively, “The fall collection . . . baby.”

The ad is for a sunglasses company, but its approach is hardly unique in the world of Indian advertising. These days, the faces of white women and men, mostly from Eastern Europe, stare out from billboards, from the facades of glitzy, glass-fronted malls and from fashion magazines. At an international automobile show this month in New Delhi, most of the models were white.

The presence of Caucasian models in Indian advertisements has grown in the past three years, industry analysts say. The trend reflects deep cultural preferences for fair skin in this predominantly brown-skinned nation of more than 1 billion people. But analysts say the fondness for “fair” is also fueled by a globalized economy that has drawn ever more models from Europe to cities such as Mumbai, India’s cultural capital.

‘Deep-rooted in our psyche’

“Indians have a longing for that pure, beautiful white skin. It is too deep-rooted in our psyche,” said Enakshi Chakraborty, who heads Eskimo India, a modeling agency that brings East European models here. “Advertisers for international as well as Indian brands call me and say, ‘We are looking for a gori [Hindi for white] model with dark hair.’ Some ask, ‘Do you have white girls who are Indian-looking?’ They want white girls who suit the Indian palate.”

Indians’ color fixation is also evident in classified newspaper ads and on Web sites that help arrange marriages. The descriptive terms used for skin color run the gamut: “very fair,” “fair,” “wheat-ish,” “wheat-ish-medium,” “wheat-ish-dark,” “dark” and “very dark.”

{snip}

“The Indian mind-set prefers light skin. My pictures are routinely Photoshopped to make me look a bit lighter — a lot lighter, actually,” Riya Ray, 23, a dark-skinned Indian model, said with a laugh. “But when I work in Britain and France, my color is praised as exotic. It is a two-way trend: Indian models are going abroad, and foreign models are coming here.”

{snip}

Less inhibited

Advertisers say that white female models appeal to them because they are typically less inhibited than their Indian counterparts when it comes to showing skin and posing in lingerie.

Tanya Bohinc, a 25-year-old Slovenian model, has lived in India for the past month, going on shoots for perfumes, clothing and hotel chains, while battling the rest of what India has to offer: omnipresent mosquitoes and spicy curries that wreak havoc with a sensitive stomach.

“I can sense the local fascination for my skin color here,” said Bohinc, who has modeled in seven countries. “I think it has to do with the fact that the British ruled India for so long.” Bohinc said she’s been trying out for small roles in Bollywood films and learning Hindi lines. A growing number of Bollywood film choreographers are now hiring white dancers in song-and-dance scenes.

{snip}

“When we put the white model in Indian clothes, it is a cultural exchange. It shows India’s economic self-confidence,” Tiwari said. “Of course, it also caters to the general feeling that ‘fair’ and ‘beautiful’ go together. For a rickshaw-puller who earns $2 a day, seeing a fair-skinned woman is an escape, a fantasy.”

{snip}

Original article

(Posted on January 29, 2008)

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Comments

So by sending our high paying tech jobs to India, we’ve enabled the Indians to buy our beautiful white-skinned girls.

Excuse me while I lose my lunch.

Posted by at 6:16 PM on January 29


The British Empire is often criticized for having oppressed and treated their colonial subjects harshly. But in this case at least, the British left behind a number of things that have benefited India; a desire for democracy, a distinct British addition to Indian culture; many factories built during the Empire that are still in operation; and the love of - rather than a hate for - “the purity of white skin.”

Posted by Whiteplight at 6:36 PM on January 29


“When we put the white model in Indian clothes, it is a cultural exchange. It shows India’s economic self-confidence,” Tiwari said. “Of course, it also caters to the general feeling that ‘fair’ and ‘beautiful’ go together. For a rickshaw-puller who earns $2 a day, seeing a fair-skinned woman is an escape, a fantasy.”

{snip}

Original article

(Posted on January 29, 2008)

And this fantasy leads to the rape and gang-rape of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of White women a year.

Posted by Howard in Las Vegas at 6:49 PM on January 29


The terrible downside of this world wide demand for white females is that for every one that finds legitimate work as a model, there are ten that are kidnapped and sold into a hellish existence of sex slavery in the middle east, Africa, and asia. It is a phenomenon that can be graphed as a direct correlation to white peoples’s loss of power on the world stage.

Posted by at 7:07 PM on January 29


“‘I can sense the local fascination for my skin color here,’ said Bohinc, who has modeled in seven countries. ‘I think it has to do with the fact that the British ruled India for so long.’”

Nope silly air headed model, it is probably the reason the British ruled so long there. Between their technological and tactical superiority, and their fair complexions, the British must have seemed like the second coming of the lost ruling cast that is fabled to have been of pure European extraction. In a sense, their civilizing and cultured rule probably was like that “second coming” in many respects; after all, what has India achieved of great note in recent history? Not much, not much of all!

Posted by John PM at 7:24 PM on January 29


Let me guess what that two dollar a day rickshaw puller is fantasizing about. White women should not parade themselves in front of these dark skinned 3rd worlders, it only amplifies their lust and hatred. Pity the cute blonde tourist who gets in this guy’s rickshaw.

Posted by Schoolteacher at 9:12 PM on January 29


What a lot of people don’t realise, because the liberals don’t want to talk about it, is that there are two races in india: what Ghandi called the Aryans, of whom he counted himself as one, and what he called the Aboriginees, the dark, original inhabitants. The caste system is based on colour and is no different to apartheid - it’s how the Aryan Indians have stayed so pale. Ghandi was proud of the value Indians placed on the purity of race. The movie about his life was garbage. He campaigned for Aryan Indians to be able to travel on public transport, not dark Indians or blacks. He also said he was not happy about the “mixing of Indians and Kaffirs”. I wonder why neo-liberals made such an icon of him. Perhaps they were short of heroes. When you think about it, neo-liberals have been doing devious things with history for decades. Nazis were socialists but they managed somehow to change the definition of the word to imply right-wing. Mugabe, after massacres in Matabele, was awarded honorary degrees, Mandela the terrorist who refused to denounce violence while in prison was awarded the Nobel peace prize - they really are a grubby, mendacious lot, those liberals.

Posted by at 11:11 PM on January 29


The ad with the green-eyed White woman flirting with the Indian is beyond disturbing. :( I also think it’s in India’s best interest to remain Indian. It actually hurts them to have their genes diluted, as well. I most certainly detest whomever is promoting this race-mixing with the scarce European women.

Posted by EA (European American) Steve at 12:28 AM on January 30


well I just went to Eskimo India’s website and looked at their models and noticed overwhelming majority of their male and female models are ethnic Indian!! but I do agree both their models of both genders have lighter skins than the East Indians I see around me, and their facial complexions resemble the Caucasian complexions.

https://www.eskimomodels.com/site/models/models.php?type=women

Posted by at 12:48 AM on January 30


Let me continue. I think the white models are welcome in India largely because it is exotic over there, not because the local people in India particularly prefer paler skin to darker skins. It also reads white male models are welcome in India, and in France the darker skin gets more attention. When the darker skin gets more attention in France, I think it is because it is exotic, not because it is superior to the pale skin. Please keep in your mind, I do agree Eastern European girls, Western European girls and white North American girls are extremely beautiful.

Some advertisements in Korea have Caucasian models as well and of course they do get quite a bit of attention, largely because it is very exotic in Korea.

Posted by Sexy Korean guy at 12:54 AM on January 30


Yes, Hitler had a great amount of support in India and not
just because He was against their occupiers. Hitler’s philosophy
was a variant on the perrenial philosphy which all ancient cul-
tures subscribed to. It is time to return to Sanatan Dharma,
the Eternal Way. The High Men rule and the lesser men are ruled.
The Aryan is not only Aristocracy-the East Asians have their own.
May the Prometheans and Sons of Heaven live in Peace.

Posted by Eric the Red at 2:26 AM on January 30


Whiteplight, it goes back way further than the British. The Indians have had this fetish for light skin as far back as anyone can remember. It’s mostly the females; not so much the males. Lighter skin is more adaptive evolutionary than darker in females anyway in most races, and that’s why in most races the females are lighter than the males. Natural selection. Females need more vitamin D to get through pregnancy properly.

Posted by Robert Lindsay at 2:49 AM on January 30


11:11 PM: Gandhi also said there is no such thing as an Indian race. Also those Aryans got suspiciously darker down through the centuries, even though they were not supposed to breed out of caste. In India, it is more about caste than race anyway. The Brahmins of the South are often darker than the lower castes of the North.

EA: How can you possibly “dilute the genes” of the “Indian race”? If you spend a lot of time around these people, you have never seen such a genetic mystery casserole in your life.

12:48 AM: There’s a lot of Punjabis around me. A lot of them look as light and European as those models. You might mistake them for Greeks, Jews or Italians.

Posted by Robert Lindsay at 2:57 AM on January 30


“The presents of Caucasian models in Indian advertisements has grown in the past three years, industry analysts say.”

Indians and Arabs, for that matter, are Caucasians…but not white. So the sentence should read “The presents of white models…”

Posted by George00 at 3:23 AM on January 30


Who wouldn’t want to be white.

Posted by Jim at 3:54 AM on January 30


The irony is that models from eastern Europe are in demand.
Those familiar with Indian history will know that the Aryan invasion of approximately 1000 years BCE had the profoundest effect on that nation, in terms of religion and language and to a small effect genetics.
Previous to the Aryan invasion, India was mostly inhabited by a small, skinny dark-skinned Dravidian race that stll forms the bulk of the population, especially in the south, but in the north too.
By all accounts the invading Aryans a people perhaps originating in central Asia, but speaking a language akin to most modern Europea tongues,were phenotypically very different, being bigger, stronger, White-skinned and with ‘chiselled features’.
The belief is that India’s caste system, which dominates life in that nation to this day, was instituted by Aryan invaders in order to preserve their genetic heritage and to put the maximum distance between themselves and the natives, who they held in contempt.
Latest genetic research seems to indicate that amongst the highest ‘Aryan’ castes, male genetic haplotypes correspond most to those of eastern Europeans than to those of lower castes.

Posted by Kenelm Digby at 8:15 AM on January 30


When I visited a hindu temple on my visit to India something that interested me was that the statues and icons of the various dieties were all pale in complexion as opposed to the images of evil that were portrayed black. Since hinduism is the oldest religion these attitudes are deep rooted in the Indian mindset. An Indian work collegue once told me the first question his family will ask when his wife delivers their baby is, “Is the child fair or dark”.

Posted by domin at 8:25 AM on January 30


All very interesting comments, race is so fascinating and its such a pity we can’t study it openly, the next best thing is to disguise it alongside linguistics.
I once read that Aboriginal Australians belong to an Ancient White race. They do have a remarkable similarity to those low caste southern Dravidians especially around the eyes, is the connection through India I wonder. Also remarkable is the fact that many Aboriginal children have reddish blond hair prior to puberty. I guess DNA testing will answer all these questions eventually.

With regard to the article, of course European physical characteristics are popular amongst non Euros; who would aspire to look like a backward or less developed person.
Arc.

Posted by Arcadian at 11:03 AM on January 30


There are several Hindu dieties having dark skin.Ram, Krishna,Shankar are supposed to have dark skin colour.They are worshipped by millions of Indian Hindus belonging to different castes and different parts of the country.
The view that all dieties are pale is absolutely incorrect.
I feel there is some prefernce for light skin colour because India was ruled by the whites for long.

Posted by Ramesh at 11:03 AM on January 30


Western women are also seen as sexually lose - no self respecting Indian actress would do a sex scene, or even kiss passionately….so its also about seeing white women as the Moghal tradition have always seen them: as harem fodder.

Posted by at 11:34 AM on January 30


I worked with an engineer from India (I’ll call “Raj”) for a number of years. Raj was a Brahmin-type - tall, fair-skinned, long nose, with dark, wavy hair and a bushy, handle-bar mustache. I often told him, jokingly, he’d look right at home wearing an alpine hat during Octoberfest in Bavaria. He always light-heartedly agreed!

Raj loved America but there was one thing American he didn’t like: blacks. He often had run-ins with them on the job resulting in complaints to management. The white liberal weenies in charge didn’t quite know what to do about Raj. While his offenses against blacks were often blatant and involved using the n-word, there was the fact that Raj was the brightest guy on our staff while the black complainants were mostly minimum-wage slackers. AND, compounding the issue was the fact that Raj wasn’t white! If only he was white, I know they were always thinking, he would have been much easier to deal with.

Raj eventually moved on of his own accord to a better paying job. Hopefully, giving some new diversity-crazed managers nightmares!

Posted by Francis at 12:58 PM on January 30


“The terrible downside of this world wide demand for white females is that for every one that finds legitimate work as a model, there are ten that are kidnapped and sold into a hellish existence of sex slavery in the middle east, Africa, and asia. It is a phenomenon that can be graphed as a direct correlation to white peoples’s loss of power on the world stage.”

Posted by at 7:07 PM on January 29

> While I do not necessarily disagree with this post - I do think that the third world contains a huge market for fair skin - I must report that this problem is no longer limited to those places. Of course, there have been reports of white sex slavery in Continental Europe for some time now, but the latest news this week is really disheartening.

The value of checking in on the so called “Liberal Media” is valuable. In the past two days there have been two video articles concerning white slave trade - sex slavery in England. They are sold or kidnapped sometimes by their own parents as young as nine and gang raped for their initiation. They are trafficked into England where “normal” British (white) men use them. The girls are coming from every Eastern European country, with Poland, Latvia and Romania mentioned specifically. (I guess they have run out of Ukrainian women. I heard that that is actually true).

Many of us in the West have become just as bad as the non-whites we used to criticize. The Englishman, undone by decades of “sex,drugs and rock and roll” have within their social utopia a very nasty underworld that exploits the most vulnerable of society. England, once the land of St. George.

All this must be fought on all levels, but in the personal realm as well.

Posted by Whiteplight at 1:02 PM on January 30


“Whiteplight, it goes back way further than the British. The Indians have had this fetish for light skin as far back as anyone can remember. It’s mostly the females; not so much the males. Lighter skin is more adaptive evolutionary than darker in females anyway in most races, and that’s why in most races the females are lighter than the males. Natural selection. Females need more vitamin D to get through pregnancy properly.”

Posted by Robert Lindsay at 2:49 AM on January 30

> Of course, I know that there is more to the preferrence for white skin than white colonialism, but it can’t be counted out. Indians dearly loved to imitate the English in all ways and many still do. We have many records of explorers and conquestadors who found it easy to do their will in primitive non-white regions of the world because their white skins automatically elevated them to the level of gods.

Who are these people who are remembering back beyond the memories of white, English historians? As far as I have noticed, all males, regardless of race prefer lighter skinned mates and likely probably always have, but coincidental evidence is not a means to a specific claim.

I appreciate all criticisms as I enjoy the discussion. But if you are going to offer all these scientific reasons for white skin preferrence, I as one trained in science and forensics, would like to see referrences to studies that prove your set of claims.

Posted by Whiteplight at 1:15 PM on January 30


When I visited a hindu temple on my visit to India something that interested me was that the statues and icons of the various dieties were all pale in complexion as opposed to the images of evil that were portrayed black. Since hinduism is the oldest religion these attitudes are deep rooted in the Indian mindset. An Indian work collegue once told me the first question his family will ask when his wife delivers their baby is, “Is the child fair or dark”.

*This is true! In fact, their preference for fair skin pre-dates British rule by centuries, where they wrote poetically of white lotus skinned beauties.*

Posted by at 1:55 PM on January 30


“EA: How can you possibly “dilute the genes” of the “Indian race”? If you spend a lot of time around these people, you have never seen such a genetic mystery casserole in your life.”

Posted by Robert Lindsay at 2:57 AM on January 30

Yes they are very mixed, but that is the point. They are still their own kind. I know it’s humanly impossible, but why should the Northwestern Europeans, or the European race completely absorb the Indian ethnicity. I also know, some have a smidge of White/Central Asian blood. However, (for a very large majority) it’s nothing more than a mere smidge (maybe a 32nd “tops” for the more pale ones), and the relatively few White/Central Asian ancestors are not quite identical to present-day Europeans (they are most likely related, much like the Caucasian semites of Northern Africa are/were (to Europeans)).

It’s also about identity. Indians may be mixed, however, the White portion makes a very small percentage of their dna, as Whites and idigenous Indians are very distantly related. Why should a group of 95+% Indians have their genes absorbed by virtually pure Europeans?

It’s about genetic interest, not absolute principle (on racial purity, or whatnot).

Posted by EA (European American) Steve at 7:05 PM on January 30


I don’t think that there’s anything inherently negative in this article. If anything it is a compliment to beautiful European women. European women have such a wonderful diversity (don’t you just love that word)of beauty, from the Scandinavian and Nordic look, to Irish Colleens to Mediterranean beauties.

As someone stated above many Indians look extremely “white” as well. One woman I work with could definitely pass for white. Even some of the darker skinned Indian women have Caucasian features (as they should) They are dark but not African.

Posted by S & GS at 8:38 PM on January 30


In India the biggest offence you can cause is to call someone a “khaliya” or black. In my school days the Gujurati kids used to tease the few Tamils who were very dark, in spite of the fact they were all hindu.

Posted by at 8:57 AM on January 31


Indians’ fascination with things white and pale, doesn’t stop at human females of European descent, but of other species as well.

The albino, or white elephant has been venerated in Indian culture for centuries. Same for white cattle. Finally, I read in a USA Today article, some time ago, about a guy living in rural India who captured an albino cobra from a pond near his home. He took it home with him, word got around the village, and soon people were coming from hundreds of miles around paying him $ 5 to look at his snake.
Why? They thought the albino cobra was holy.

Posted by Soprano Fan at 7:27 PM on January 31


“What a lot of people don’t realise, because the liberals don’t want to talk about it, is that there are two races in india:”

Posted by at 11:11 PM on January 29”

Yes, a penchant by Indian men for european women wouldn’t surprise me for this reason. India was originally peopled by Dravidians who were conquered by Indo-Aryans. The elaborate caste system is a reflection of those Aryans’ desire to maintain their own blood-lines and keep themselves on top. Culturally, Indians have been indoctrinated to admire whites for thousands of years.

And your comments about the revered Ghandi are quite apt. For those who have not seen it before, here’s an eye opening article about the Mahatma:

https://history.eserver.org/ghandi-nobody-knows.txt

Posted by CSinAL at 12:21 AM on February 1


“If you spend a lot of time around these people, you have never seen such a genetic mystery casserole in your life.”
Posted by Robert Lindsay
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — -
Oh, is that what? I was under the impression they were a tossed salad of racial greens. I mean genes. No wonder! And all the time I had been trying to use the salad fork!

Posted by voter at 1:27 PM on February 1


I am not an expert on Hinduism but I believe that one of the gods has always been represented as dark blue, and the goddess Kali is black. I don’t know whether these colors are symbolic of something or were supposed to be actual skin.
One thing is certain — the English had next to nothing to do with the preference for light skin. The Brits were never a pervasive presence; most Indians were never around them and they didn’t have movies and tv spreading images as happens today. In any case, British looks would have been too different to appeal, whereas white skin has an ancient presence in Asia. Not exactly the same pink or peach tone you have in Europe, but pretty light nonetheless. The famous preference owes nothing to Euro influence, though it is of course, convenient to blame it on the British.

Posted by tobeornottobe at 12:28 AM on February 3


” They are trafficked into England where “normal” British (white) men use them. The girls are coming from every Eastern European country, with Poland, Latvia and Romania mentioned specifically.”

Those “normal” whites are exactly the types to betray their own
countrymen. The same nihilistic, sociopathic cannibals who occupy seats of western government and actively promote massive third world immigration and persecution of the indigenous population. As
long as these anti-white, cancerous politicians keep getting re-elected in European nations, the future looks bleak.

Posted by at 1:22 AM on February 4


A salad fork won’t work on a casserole!

And I also noticed that odd statement about: ”They are trafficked into England where “normal” British (white) men use them.”
Someone out there calls that normal?

Posted by browser at 1:55 AM on February 7



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