Dark is Beautiful is an awareness campaign that seeks to draw attention to the unjust effects of skin colour bias and also celebrates the beauty and diversity of all skin tones.
Launched in 2009 by Women of Worth, the campaign challenges the belief that the value and beauty of people (in India and worldwide), is determined by the fairness of their skin. This belief, shaped by societal attitudes and reinforced by media messages, is corroding the self-worth of countless people, young and old.
While it would appear that skin colour bias is an issue that affects women, our campaign has drawn a strong response from men, too.
Amidst a global craze for fairness products and careless advertising, we aim to educate and empower consumers to make wise choices by conducting Media Literacy workshops and Life Skills training.
In a “Fair and Handsome” ad, Shah Rukh Khan tosses a tube of fairness cream to a young fan. In the next scene, the boy’s skin grows whiter, his smile brightens and his hopes rise. The message: Fair skin is a prerequisite for success.
Such irresponsible advertising propagates discrimination among men, women— and even children.
Actress Nandita Das has observed, “Now the insecurities of men are also surfacing with equal number of fairness products for them. Such pressure and so little public debate around it!”
It’s time to let brands and brand ambassadors know that our country is ready to shed age-old biases and let every person feel comfortable in their own skin.
“Beauty Beyond Colour” is an initiative of the Dark is Beautiful campaign that is speaking up for men and boys, who are also targets of “unfair” advertising.
Together, let us raise our voices to reflect a nation that celebrates every shade of beautiful and handsome!
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