White = lovely = handsome

Remember ‘Fair & Lovely‘? The face cream popular in India due to its skin-lightening properties? The one with the dodgy branding that invoked DNA (and thus eugenicist) undertones, not to mention a motif that could well be subtitled “Watch out! The dark-skinned person is behind you!“? That one?

Well turns out they have it in the Middle East as well. Here’s some of the stuff I spotted on Kuwait last week…


Although judging by the “douhill” perfume on the lower shelf, I can’t vouch for the F&L’s authenticity in this establishment.

In the Middle East it’s not just the ladies who can attain white-skinned-person levels of loveliness. The men can too, as per these specimens I found in Oman today:


But in the men’s case, sales are nudged along with subtle rebranding of loveliness to handsomeness (of course)…


And you can get lots of product for the guys:


As tempted as I was, I left them all behind. I drew enough attention by photographing all this stuff. And anyway, I’m already pale enough. But I guess I could do with more loveliness. Fair enough. Busted.

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