Indians No Longer Obsessed with Fair Skin? Think Again! 

“Everyone prefers a fair girl...who’ll marry a girl with dusky skin?” Delhiites on the Indian ‘fair skin’ obsession!

2 min read

Cameraperson: Shivkumar Maurya
Video Editor:
Rahul Sanpui

“Everyone likes a fair wife. Who’d take a woman with dusky skin tone for a wife?”

“Some people think that if their wife is not fair, they will invite insult from friends.”

These are just some of the responses I got when I went around asking Delhiites if they thought fairer skin was better.

India has a booming fairness cream industry, valued at $450 million, which is increasing at about 18% every year. 

Why? Because even though there is a counter-narrative that says, “dusky is beautiful’’, there are always people around who might make one feel that fair skin has an integral role to play in life, if one wants to come across as a “confident individual”.


As part of my series ‘Sharma Na Bol Daal’, this time, I went around asking people if they use editing apps before posting pictures online. Almost everyone said they either use the default Instagram filter or use an external app to even out their skin tone.

I like editing my pictures so it gets a good response on social media. 

There’s a bunch of photo-editing apps available which do a host of things. From making your eyes look bigger to making your skin multiple tones lighter, these apps help one transform pictures like pros. The ‘editing’ bit, before posting something online, is so important that people don’t mind spending money on these apps either.

Even the Kardashians tweak their selfies before posting online!

According to US Weekly, Kim Kardashian and her sisters use an app called ‘Perfect 365’ to edit their selfies before posting them on Instagram.


What happens when you’re looking for a life partner? I am sure you remember that famous line from matrimonial ads:

Wanted: Bride with very fair complexion. 

A woman I spoke to told me that fair complexion is not as important. She said that the two people in question should make a perfect pair. How’s that? Both should have similar complexions. “It’s not the best match if the boy is dusky and the girl is very fair. Such is the tradition,” she said.

The bottom line is, if our elders keep telling us that everything depends on our skin tone, then this ‘tradition’ will also continue for a long time to come.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

Read Latest News and Breaking News at The Quint, browse for more from neon

Topics:  India   Fair and Lovely   fairness creams 

Speaking truth to power requires allies like you.
Become a Member
3 months
12 months
12 months
Check Member Benefits
Read More