This refers to Sudha G. Tilak’s article (from Al Jazeera) appearing in the Sunday Times of last week.
This notion of white skin being superior threatens to heighten a natural anxiety in women and men and their critical ability to remain comfortable in their own skin. The bizarre reality being developed, is that the best way to market a product is to feed on misplaced cultural views fuelled by human insecurities.
The ridiculous proposition that the colour of women’s intimate areas (not just their cleanliness, it would seem) is marketed as another “opportunity” to make themselves more attractive to the opposite sex. Probably as dubious as its predecessor meant for the face, marketers argue that, like lipstick, no harm comes from marketing fairness for the nether areas.
From advertisements for marriage proposals where fairness is a virtue, to Bollywood movies where the heroine is pale and has light hair while only extras have dark skin or hair, the commercialists seem to be the only winners.
White skin is now recognised as a social marker for high class. They will develop an inferiority complex which will affect the vast majority of the population, and contribute to further degeneration of society.
Skin colour discrimination in Sri Lanka must be as socially unacceptable as discrimination on caste, class and disability difference bases. Otherwise, young people will, in desperation run into the waiting hands of the predatory monster that is the marketing industry, which will gladly embrace them with open arms and slowly leach them dry.
Dr. Lasantha Pethiyagoda,