Modeling in India: But who are the models?

This just forwarded by Ben Wood…

In India’s Huge Marketplace, Advertisers Find Fair Skin Sells
By Rama Lakshmi, Washington Post Foreign Service Sunday, January 27, 2008

“MUMBAI The TV ad shows an Indian movie star walking on a beach, flaunting his brand-name sunglasses and his six-pack abs. A white woman in a black bikini drops on the sand from nowhere, and then another woman drops down. Soon, a bevy of white models literally falls from the skies, and the movie star runs for cover. A green-eyed model from Iceland puts her arms around him and whispers seductively, “The fall collection. . . baby.” more

Ben asks: As we ready ourselves for the potential influx of goods and products from a burgeoning Indian economy, what will we really see?

In responding, I pointed out to Ben that I was struck by, when visiting India recently, the large number of “skin whitening creams” commercials on television. Very disturbing. I would posit that this is a leftover from the dominance of western culture, or what is perceived as such. Let’s hope a more balanced vision is what lies in store.

Geotypografika says no to skin-whitening-creams, and yes to an infinitely more diverse future.

3 Responses to “Modeling in India: But who are the models?”

Does this mean the western dominance is not at an end but at a scary beginning? The burgeoning middle class of India not only looks at the way in which America dominated goods and trade, as well as education and done it better than us, but they clearly have fetishized (to a degree) our racial details. Where does this put the Indian identity and then, with our spotted past of racism, where will this put how we view India?

Scary things. Maybe I’m just looking at it too deeply.

Dylan added these words on Jan 28 08 at 5:19 PM

I think, Dylan, that you are asking all of the right questions! Go deeper still. It should make one reflect on what happens with what we make, after it is out there. The “West” has epitomized success and high culture because that is what has been both projected and effectively enforced most widely in the past (and not all for bad reasons!). Now that the world operates in real time all the time, and larger and more diverse numbers have access to powerful media, how long before these predilections, misguided tastes, or stereotypes and the accompanying visual ideals are cast aside? Or replaced with new ones? Brilliant question actually, Dylan, makes ‘ya think.

Erik Brandt added these words on Jan 28 08 at 5:42 PM

Dylans comment reminds me of a paper a friend of mine wrote in highschool for MLK day in which he discussed how eye color was once treated as skin color has been in these past however many hundred years. Some day.

chrisburns added these words on Jan 28 08 at 9:57 PM

Leave a Reply