It’s no secret that Indians obsess over a fair complexion. Advertisements of fairness creams dominate primetime screen space and occupy reams of print. Countless beauty solutions available in the market promise to fix our dark faces, knees, elbows, and other parts of the body. It now seems that Baba Ramdev led Patanjali has joined the bandwagon.
A recent ad featuring the darling of the masses, Baba Ramdev, fuels the distasteful thought while marketing Patanjali’s ‘Beauty Cream’ by calling dark complexion a skin ailment. While the advert features an array of beauty products from ‘Saundarya Beauty Lotion’ to an anti-wrinkle cream, the sub-text of the ‘Beauty Cream’ claims to be ‘extremely beneficial for skin ailments like dry skin, dark complexion and wrinkles.
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On a day when social media is aghast at H&M for posting an insensitive product placement, Indian’s needn’t look to far to find severe insensitivities. India has a big problem right here in our backyard. But while H&M is being taken to the cleaners for their mindless positioning, Patanjali’s ad seems to have slipped through the scrutiny of netizens. In the west, several celebrities including The Weeknd and footballer Romelu Lukaku protested against the racist ad but India seems unfazed by so-called godman selling insensitive products under their nose.
Here’s our attempt at providing a bit of education to Patanjali. According to the American Academy of Dermatology “When you go out in the sun, your body makes more melanin. That's because it's trying to protect you from the sun's damaging rays by deflecting or absorbing them.” Patanjali, it’s a natural process. Not a disease.