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10 October, 2020 11:40:54 AM

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Beauty products ads help enforce racial injustice

A norm has already been established that the fair skin deserves the praise
Alaul Alam
Beauty products ads help enforce racial injustice

Racial divide is not a new phenomenon. Over the centuries colourism has been an issue of debate and the history witnessed that the black people were subject to enduring all sorts of odd treatment that still persists and would continue unless the disparities between the black and the white are stopped.

It seems surprising to think that the true response to the concept of beauty is still unexposed.

Here a question is pertinent to ask, does beauty mean white complexion? And if it is not, why the beauty product manufacturing companies guarantee fair skin for the consumers? In most cases they offer challenges that their products are committed to ensuring whitening complexion. Even the models hired to advertise their products have fair complexion.

A norm has already been established that the fair skin deserves the praise. So hurry up to make your skin fair with the beauty products wherever at any corner of the globe you are. This concept of beauty offers nothing but raises a strong racism leading to racial-divide across the globe as the black are bound to think that they are inferior to the white.

It seems that the beauty industry is constantly marginalizing the people with dark complexion and warning that their bodies and hair are not okay and need to be changed. However, in this Indian sub-continent this sort of discriminatory treatment began when the British ruled over the region as the people with fair skin were given the priorities in all regards.

There goes a wrong competition to become fairer where colour may be taken as an identity of the individuals. Consequently, the demand of beauty products across the globe is escalating. With this increased demand the beauty industry has been one of the fastest growing industries in the world, worth 532 billion U.S dollar in 2017, which is likely to increase to 863 billion by 2024.

It is worth-mentioning that recently the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery have reckoned the racist practices embedded in many companies. These days, beauty brands are facing growing pressure as they went on to say their products boast of skin lightening and whitening properties leading to racism. However L’Oréal, Unilever and other beauty giants have changed their marketing strategy to remove racially sensitive branding and products that promote skin lightening.

On top of that, many beauty brands are speaking out against racism. They have created ways for their customers to donate, and have temporarily halted business to focus on protests and spreading awareness.

To this end, merely donating to seek the universal racial justice or renaming their brands cannot be the solution. Creating huge consciousness may bring positive result in diminishing racial-divide. More importantly it is imperative to leave such a thinking that may create racial injustice. Beauty does not mean white skin.

 

The writer teaches at Prime University. Email: [email protected]

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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