Beauty, Lookbook

32 amazing moments #UnfairandLovely slayed Eurocentric beauty ideals

I remember women in my family and community bleaching the shit out of their skin in order to appear lighter.

Whether you’re a Pakistani, Indian, Tamil, Bangla, etc. woman, you have probably heard of the cream, Fair & Lovely – and have probably subjected your skin to the excruciating burning sensation in order to achieve a lighter skin tone. According to the Fair & Lovely website, the cream has “provided effective and visible fairness to women, and more than that, it provided hope… to millions of women around the world, especially in Asia, who desired fairer and even-toned skin, for how it made them feel about themselves, and for how it made the world see them.”

As a Pakistani woman (who, by the way, has been relentlessly reminded how “lucky” she is for being so “pale” over the years), I remember women in my family and community bleaching the shit out of their skin in order to appear lighter. The few times I tried it, it literally felt like the cream was eating my skin as I sat in front of a fan on high mode to lessen the burning. I also remember the Indian soap operas that my mom watched – one in particular was centered around a marriage in which the bride was too dark skinned (and therefore hated by her in-laws). The notion pushed relentlessly is simple: white skin is superior.

Today is a different day, however. Brown women are fighting back against these Eurocentric beauty ideas by spearheading a campaign against Fair & Lovely with the hashtag #unfairandlovely – and there’s no ifs, ands, or buts about it.

 

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

11.

12.

13.

14.

15.

16.

17.

18.

19.

20.

21.

22.

23.

24.

25.

26.

27.

28.

29.

30.

31.

32.

Read Next:  10 feelings we all experience as graduation approaches
Sehrish Sarah Khan-Williamson

Sehrish Sarah Khan-Williamson

Sarah Khan-Williamson is the Beauty, Fashion, & Weddings Editor at The Tempest. She is a graduate of Harvard Divinity School (MTS, Islamic Studies ’14) and George Mason University (BA, English and Religious Studies ’11) – and will begin another two MA degrees at the University of Arizona this fall (Middle Eastern & North African Studies, Public Administration). She prides herself on being a global peace educator and leader for CISV, advocate for social justice and human rights, and her makeup skills.

Our weekly email will change your life.