India’s Disturbing Obsession with Fair Skin

The new Miss America would have a hard time being Miss India

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While some Americans have made bitterly racist remarks about Miss America Nina Davuluri based on the color of her skin, it seems that people in India have problems with her dark skin as well. Some even speculate that Davuluri wouldn’t have been fair-skinned enough to win a pageant in her parents’ home country.

Take a look at previous Miss India winners and the vast number of skin-whitening products promoted by Indian celebrities, and it quickly becomes clear: the country is obsessed with fair skin. According to dermatologist Jamuna Pai, who has clinics in various locations in India: “Unfortunately, in our country, they think looking better means you have to look fairer.”