Saturday, February 6, 2010

Do You Have A Dark Spot?

Quick question: If you are going for a job interview, what is more important? Flawless complexion or talent? When I was a kid, my TV told me it is the latter. Hence, the many commercials of Complan (I'm a Complan boy / I am a Complan girl), Boost (the secret of Kapil Dev's energy), Bournvita and even Dabur's Chavanrash. I watch TV these days and I get the impression that it is the perhaps not talent, but our looks that really matter the most. Nutrition commercials can still be seen, but they get dwarfed and lost amidst countless of those that are hell bent in removing every little dark spot, dullness, grey hair, white hair, split ends or whatever little thing you have on you, to ensure you are set for a good life ahead. This is today's irony.

The reality of Indian television is not just the garish TV serials. It's also the beauty / fairness / hair commercials. 10 signs of ageing, 100 signs of hair loss, 1,000 ways to beautify yourself, fairness creams, for not just women, but also men, woman lunging for creams to get ahead in the rat race, dark spots, dullness, split ends, dark circles, and that age-old classic girl-mocked-at-in-an-interview-because-she-is-dark selling line. Housewives lounging on their sofas in their living rooms telling tales to us- with as much interest as doting mothers do when they tell fairy tales to their children- about how they did not know that they were growing old and how one wrinkle here and one dark spot there actually means they are ageing. And how they suddenly felt so blessed and uplifted now that they knew! Orgasm gets a whole new meaning. I never knew what a dark spot meant till I saw these advertisements. I think I can learn more about my skin and hair on TV than any dermatologist expert can tell me.

As if the housewife tales are not enough, we are led into a swanky laboratory whose doors automatically open, robotic types people- seemingly those who do not have even one single dark spot on their pretty faces, like almost genetically manufactured- show us their diligent and painstaking process to make products that they make it sound are so good that all those who are shunned by the society because of colour, will now soon be openly accepted. They remind me of my chemistry laboratory of my school. "Keep the bell jar tightly shut or quit the lab", said Mrs Raghavan, my chemistry teacher, sternly.

I remember years back when I was a kid, my maid servant used to apply 'Fair&Lovely' almost everyday. And she was not even dark skinned, I thought she was fair.

All said and done, I must admit one thing though. I had a lot of dandruff in my hair. I tried many shampoos but it just did not go away. Then, I tried Garnier Fructis. And would you believe, my dandruff is gone. I have zero dandruff now. Ah, well. Such is it. What can I say!

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