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.
Brian Hughes is an academic psychologist and university professor in Galway, Ireland, specialising in stress, health, and the application of psychology to social issues. He writes widely on the psychology of empiricism and of empirically disputable claims, especially as they pertain to science, health, medicine, and politics.