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Melanin on the Margins: Advertising and the Cultural Politics of Fair/Light/White Beauty in India

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Abstract

The recent commercial boom in women's skin-lightening or “fairness” cosmetics in India is part of the larger context of escalating lifestyle consumerism in Asia's emerging market nations. This monograph examines the cultural politics of gender, nation, beauty and skin color in the persuasive narratives of Indian magazine advertisements and television commercials for fairness cosmetics and personal care products. We situate advertising's compact stories of ideal femininity within the sociology of colorism's transnational links to hierarchies of race, gender, caste, ethnicity and class and the rapid economic growth in the skin-lightening cosmetics sector in India over the past decade. Deconstructing advertising's visual and linguistic fields of meaning, our analysis dissects the rhetorical themes of bodily and personal transformation, modern and traditional science, and heterosexual romance that operate together to inflate the currency of light-skinned beauty. In conclusion, we outline recent challenges to the hegemony of colorism in India and suggest directions for future research that can build on this monograph's scrutiny of advertising's regulatory regimes of beauty.

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... Some scholars attribute such colorism to India's colonial legacy (Nadeem, 2014;Eric, Li, Belk, Kimura, & Bahl, 2008). Others argue that idealizing whiteness (Gupta, 1976) and demonizing the dark-skinned may have been prevalent even in ancient India (e.g., Parameswaran & Cardoza, 2009). The modern Indian, however, does not live in ancient times nor are they colonized. ...
... Yet, many recent studies examining marriage practices and female body image in India have found an overwhelming presence of colorism in the arranged marriage matchmaking process (e.g. Jha & Adelman, 2009;Parameswaran & Cardoza, 2009;Karan, 2008). A 2013 survey of 1,000 Indian men and women conducted by a leading matrimonial website found that a majority of women and men believed fair-skinned women made better partners. ...
... Research examining colorism in India started when several multinational skin-lightening brands gained popularity in India, and scholars began examining the effects these ads had on social norms and values (Osuri, 2008;Parameswaran & Cardoza, 2009). Similarly, skin tone bias in matrimonial advertisements became a subject of discussion as greater access to internet in India resulted in the rise of online matrimonial websites, and discussion centered on the presence of colorism in a country of brown-skinned people (Berggren & Nilsson, 2013). ...
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Previous studies have found the presence of colorism, especially a bias toward fair-skinned women in India's newspaper matrimonial advertisements where fair-complexioned women are considered more beautiful than those with a darker skin complexion. Most matrimonial advertisements in newspapers are posted by family elders such as parents of prospective brides. This study explored if the rise of online matrimonial portals has empowered marginalized members of families such as prospective brides by giving them greater access to, and control over, posting matrimonial ads, and whether who posts these ads has made a difference to how women are projected in the online ads. Textual analysis of 150 online matrimonial ads indicated that younger women such as would-be brides posted more ads in online media, compared to older family members. Further, irrespective of who posted the ads, there was less overt focus on physical attributes of women such as fairness of skin, but colorism was present in more subtle forms. Finally, the online ads posted by both prospective brides, and their parents, were unable to entirely break free from shackles of socially constructed patriarchal norms where women's physical attributes such as fair skin are considered critical qualities. Findings were consistent with the tenets of Critical Race Theory that colorism is an ingrained feature of social systems and is constantly negotiated based on a group's own social interests.
... One well-recognised risk factor in Europe, North America and Australia, is internalisation of cultural appearance ideals (Cafri et al., 2005;Stice, 2002). This influence warrants examination in India, particularly given the prevalence of appearance ideals across the Indian media landscape (Ciecko, 2001;Cullity, 2002;Parameswaran & Cardoza, 2009;Shroff & Thompson, 2004;Thapan, 2004). In this study, we sought to validate the Internalisation-General subscale from the SATAQ-3 ( Thompson et al., 2004) in English among adolescents in urban India. ...
... Further, these items also showed the strongest association with body dissatisfaction among this group. Actors and actresses typically represent narrow appearance ideals (e.g., youthfulness, thick hair, fair skin), which is the case in both films made in and outside of India (Ciecko, 2001;Cullity, 2002;Parameswaran & Cardoza, 2009;Thapan, 2004). Additionally, there has been a trend for increased thinness and muscularity among Bollywood actresses and actors, respectively, over time (Ciecko, 2001;Kapadia, 2009;Kavi, 2000). ...
Article
Few studies have validated body image related measures in Asian countries, including in India, thus stunting research progress. To provide a robust method of assessing internalisation of cultural appearance ideals, the purpose of this study was to validate a culturally appropriate English version of the Internalisation-General subscale from the Sociocultural Attitudes Towards Attitudes Questionnaire-3 among a school sample of 1,432 urban Indian adolescents (Mage = 12.9 years; 44 % girls). Exploratory factor analyses revealed a one-factor solution for both girls and boys. Analyses indicated a six-item scale for girls and a four-item scale for boys; both of which were verified by confirmatory factor analysis. Cron-bach's alpha was high for both female (.88) and male scales (.87), and convergent validity was confirmed via significant correlations with measures of body esteem and disordered eating. Using the items which were common in both the male and female versions of the scale, confirmatory factor analysis supported a psychometrically sound model that was gender invariant, and thus can be used to assess and compare both genders. Overall, results support the reliability and validity of the Internalisation-General subscale among English-speaking urban Indian adolescents.
... Contestants are usually sponsored by capitalists, social entities, or local communities which implies that if she wins and becomes the 'Beauty Queen', she is expected to represent her sponsors based on their hierarchies [37]. Evidently, beauty pageant contestants come from middle class backgrounds [4,21,38] because they have the appetite for consumerism and the resources to pay for personal pageant training, gym memberships, social media managers, and high-fashion apparel in order to remain competitive. Seeing many titleholders and beauty queens coming from middle-class backgrounds suggests that pageant organisers select women who received formal education, can speak the English language eloquently, and are striving for upward mobility i.e., moving from middle class to elite social class, or at least close to that [4,6]. ...
... Contestants participate in these occupations many months and even years before they decide to join the pageant. The expectation to be in a certain body shape is prevalent in the beauty pageant world, hence it is imperative for contestants to have a gym membership, exercise routine, and a strict nutritional diet [21] in order to adhere to social and cultural standards [38] produced and reproduced within the pageant industry. Moreover, desired winners in beauty pageants are contestants who are formally educated and who have undergone beauty pageantrelated training sessions [4]. ...
Article
Background: The desire to be physically beautiful is inherent among human beings. In particular, some women who participate in modern-day beauty pageants tend to spend more time, energy, money and emotional resources to alter their natural body and looks to fit socially and culturally constructed standards of beauty. Objective: The authors frame beauty pageants as the context where diverse occupations are at play with the purpose of becoming a 'beauty queen'. This commentary aims to discuss the origins and culture of beauty pageants, the different perspectives on pageantry work, and essential and hidden occupations performed within the context of this form of performing art. Approach: Using the conceptual lens of the dark side of occupation, hidden occupations are characterised by the doings of pageant hopefuls that are less explored and acknowledged because they are perceived as health-compromising, risky, dishonest, illicit, and socially or personally undesirable. Conclusion: Furthermore, this commentary calls for the exploration of occupations beyond the conventional scope of its understanding and the acknowledgment of hidden occupations intertwined into people's everyday doings specifically in the context of desiring to be 'beautiful'.
... They also become privy to additional information like facial features, skin tones, accents, dialects, and demeanor. Scholars have argued that there is no association between skin color and caste, especially since Indian skin color is influenced mostly by geographic location rather than caste status (Mishra, 2015;Parameswaran and Cardoza, 2015). Among educated elites, like those in my sample, English has emerged as a caste-neutral language with no remnants of caste dialects, which are prevalent in most Indian languages (Ambedkar, 2002;Kothari, 2013;Ransubhe, 2018). ...
... Rather, for them, personal (first) names often perform the role of traditional "surnames"(Jayaraman, 2005).3 Scholars have argued that there is no association between skin color and caste, especially since Indian skin color is influenced mostly by geographic location rather than caste status(Mishra, 2015;Parameswaran and Cardoza, 2015).4 Among educated elites, like those in my sample, English has emerged as a caste-neutral language with no remnants of caste dialects(Ambedkar, 2002;Kothari, 2013;Ransubhe, 2018). ...
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This paper studies how socioeconomically biased screening practices impact access to elite firms and what policies might effectively reduce bias. Using administrative data on job search from an elite Indian college, I document large caste disparities in earnings. I show that these disparities arise primarily in the final round of screening, comprising non-technical personal interviews that inquire about characteristics correlated with socioeconomic status. Other job search stages do not explain disparities, including: job applications, application reading, written aptitude tests, large group debates that test for socio-emotional skills, and job choices. Through a novel model of the job placement process, I show that employer willingness to pay for an advantaged caste is as large as that for a full standard deviation increase in college GPA. A hiring subsidy that eliminates the caste penalty would be more cost-effective in diversifying elite hiring than other policies, such as those that equalize the caste distribution of pre-college test scores or enforce hiring quotas.
... The normative palette of idealized light skin color in India may be anchored to a flexible and complex process of racial and ethnic coding that fluctuates with a crisscrossing matrix of global influences (travel and media consumption) and local social formations (region, ethnicity, class, family, education, religion). The precise shades of 'fair' skin that Indian women may aspire to possess can thus range from the white skin color associated with Northern European Caucasians to [the] olive skin color associated with Southern European Caucasians a n d the North Indian Punjabi community (Parameswaran and Cardoza, 2009). ...
... These preposterous fairness narratives are barely credible and are often scoffed at in the public sphere, yet the products continue to sell suggesting that many consumers are suspending their disbelief long enough to buy them. Parameswaran and Cardoza (2009) also discuss the co-option of "the cosmopolitan aura of scientific modernity" in advertising: ...
Article
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This article examines the pervasive phenomenon of skin bleaching in India. It highlights the increasing consumption of skin bleaching products by both Indian women and men as an outcome of a deeply embedded practice of colour discrimination in the nation. Notably, the faces that appear on Indian television and the film industry (Bollywood) are almost exclusively fairskinned. In the marriage trade “fair skin” is virtually the single most highly prized attribute that a bride can command. Consumption of fairness creams and other skin lightening products is boosted by a battalion of television, magazine and social media advertising, using top Bollywood actors. Although the origin of the dominant beauty ideal of paleness in India is debatable – considering that the ideal of light skin predates colonialism – it is clear that contemporary yearnings for fairer skin are driven by a combination of Western mass-mediated ideologies and traditional Asian cultural values. key words: skin lightening, skin bleaching, India, Jamaica
... As a consequence, last names, facial features, and dialect have become unreliable signals of caste, especially among educated urbanites. For example, surnames like "Singh", "Sinha", "Verma", "Chaudhary", "Mishra", "Das" etc. are shared across castes (Anthropological Survey of India, 2009). 1 Scholars have also argued that there is no association between skin color and caste, especially since Indian skin color is influenced mostly by geographic location rather than caste status (Mishra, 2015;Parameswaran and Cardoza, 2015). Among English-educated elites, like those in my sample, English has emerged as a caste-neutral language with no memory of caste dialects, which plague most Indian languages (Ambedkar, 2002;Kothari, 2013; The New Polis, 2018; Ransubhe, 2018). ...
... At this round, employers finally get to observe, but do not extensively interact with students after an initial setup. They also become privy to additional information like facial features, skin tone, accent, language, demeanor etc. Scholars have argued that there is no association between skin color and caste, especially since Indian skin color is influenced mostly by geographic location rather than caste status (Mishra, 2015;Parameswaran and Cardoza, 2015). Among educated elites, like those in my sample, English has emerged as a caste-neutral language with no memory of caste dialects, which plague most Indian languages (Ambedkar, 2002; Kothari, 2013; The New Polis, 2018; Ransubhe, 2018). ...
Article
Despite widespread caste disparities, compensatory hiring policies remain absent from the Indian private sector. This paper employs novel administrative data on the job search from an elite college and evaluates policies to promote hiring diversity. Application reading, written aptitude tests, large group debates, and job choices do not explain caste disparities. Disparities arise primarily between the final round, comprising non-technical personal interviews, and job offers; the emergence closely parallels caste revelation. For promoting diversity, hiring subsidies — similar in spirit to the government-proposed Diversity Index — are twice as cost-effective as improving pre-college achievement. Conversely, quotas mirror a hiring tax and reduce university recruitment by 7%.
... There has been a considerable amount of attention paid to the contemporary, globalised marketing of skin-lightening products in the late twentieth century. 74 Studies have documented the use of skin lighteners, also referred to as 'skin whiteners', 'skin bleachers' or 'depigmenting agents', in Africa, Europe, North America and Asia, which often contain harmful chemicals like hydroquinone and mercury. 75 In India, the skinlightening market was estimated at over US$250 million out of a total dermatology market of US$410 million. ...
Article
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This article traces the evolution of branded commodity advertising and consumption from corporeal health concerns to the racialisation of beauty through skin-lightening cosmetics in late colonial India. It centres two empirical foci: the marketing of personal hygiene products to Indian markets, and their racialised and gendered consumption. This article argues that the imperial economy tapped into and commodified ideals of cleanliness, beauty and fairness through marketing—ideals that continue to pervade contemporary South Asian communities. Contrary to claims that multinational corporations permeated Indian markets after the economic liberalisation of the late 1980s, there is a much deeper genealogy to the racialised imperial economy operating in European colonies. This article also examines the phenomenological underpinnings of imperial whiteness in colonial encounters to demonstrate how certain commodities appealed to Indians as ‘modern’ consumers, as well as how middle-class Indians and local entrepreneurs became active participants in the demand for, consumption and production of personal hygiene commodities.
... Parameswaran and Cardoza (2009: 213) state that, "[…] skin-lightening or 'fairness' cosmetics in India is part of the larger context of escalating lifestyle consumerism in Asia's emerging market nations." Although Parameswaran and Cardoza's (2009) statement is mainly based on the skin-lightening products of women in India, men's skin-lightening products and the underlying ideology of colorism behind the promotion and circulation of those products are no less significant than women's products. Since colorism is an issue of marginalization and discrimination, it needs attention. ...
Article
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The skin-lightening products for men in India and their mode of advertising have been shaping the concept of attractiveness for Indian men by portraying lighter skin tone as the most fundamental quality of being attractive, always desirable, and successful. Although women’s skin-lightening products in India have received attention by a few scholars lately, men’s products are still underresearched. Hence, this study aims to investigate the issue of colorism augmented by television commercials for men’s “fairness” (light skin tone) products in India. The primary data for this study are six Hindi television commercials for men’s skin-lightening products which were broadcast from 2005 to 2015 and were available on YouTube during data collection. The commercials are by one popular brand, Emami Fair and Handsome. The target commercials are significant for their categorical distinction in directness as well as for their nature of storytelling that helps facilitate the discourse of colorism itself. The methodology is a combination of multimodal analysis, critical discourse analysis, and advertisement analysis. The overall goal of this study is to bring visibility to this subtle and multilayered problem of colorism in Indian society which is being reinforced by the skin-lightening products for men.
... For instance, colorism in India is typically attributed to centuries of European and British occupations and more recently, to the global diffusion of Hollywood movies and American television programs across the twentieth century (Li et al. 2008;Shankar and Subish 2007;Jha and Adelman 2009). As a result of these powerful cultural forces, light skin in India is regularly associated with higher social castes, an indoor lifestyle shielded from the sun, and meanings such as beauty, purity, and divinity, while dark skin is associated with lower social castes, outdoor work under the sun, and meanings such as ugliness, filth, and deviance (Fernandez, Veer, and Lastovicka 2011;Hussein 2010;Li et al. 2008;Parameswaran and Cardoza 2009;Shankar and Subish 2007). ...
... This perhaps also explains the recent growth of "fairness cr eme" market for Indian men as increasingly white male bodies are serving as exemplars for all to emulate (Stanzil, 2015). In India, female beauty has been linked to a fair skin (Parameswaran and Cardoza, 2009;Segran, 2013) but it appears to have become a desired attribute for men too. I should explain here that the desire for fair skin among Indians is a complex issue, and in many ways, advertisers are only exploiting a deep-seated desire for fair skin among the public, but they are also helping to normalize fair skin through the extensive use of fair-skinned models. ...
Article
This study examines the construction of new models of masculinity in men's lifestyle magazine advertising in India. Using textual analysis of advertisements, the study shows how certain kinds of western masculine ideals and body aesthetics are being adopted and reworked into advertising to appeal and facilitate consumption among middle and upper-class Indian men living in the urban centers of India. The contemporary construction of upper and aspirational middle-class masculinity includes size and hyper-muscularity, fair skin/whiteness, and a view of self as global ethnic. These types of constructions help to globalize the male body and masculine ideal while also privileging whiteness and class in the local and global arena.
... Finally, preference for lighter skin color among AIs is evident in matrimonial preferences (Chattopadhyay, 2019), availability and market for skinlightening products (Dixon & Telles, 2017), long history of legal cases (Banks, 2015), and culture of colorism (Khan, 2018). The origins of colorism among AIs is contested with both the caste and colonial system implicated (see Parameswaran & Cardoza, 2009), nonetheless, preference for lighter skin tone and wanting to have children who would be lighter in skin color are some examples of the desire for white Euro physical features. ...
... From the patriarchal standpoint of caste, which makes birth the major criteria for maintaining status, women were responsible for reproducing and preserving the virtue of caste. A light-skinned woman was, therefore, congruent with the progression of upper caste ranking (Parameswaran & Cardoza, 2009). ...
Thesis
This study intends to explore how Indian beauty YouTubers promote and challenge South Asian beauty ideals that are pivoted on whiteness. While most studies on the subject of skin-lightening are focused on the fields of television and print media, YouTube is a pertinent domain to explore. Considering the power that the video-sharing website commands over the arena of 'influencing', creators on the platform are capable of moulding the perceptions of their audiences by virtue of how they construct their discourses. The paper firstly synthesizes the scholarship on racism, colonialism, representation and the dominant beauty ideal that provides a background to the subject being researched. Furthermore, the complementary concepts of colourism, the caste system in India, the notion of beauty and the tenets of advertising help strengthen the understanding of the context. Finally, the workings of YouTube are deconstructed so as to situate the aforesaid theories within it. The systemic functional and visual semiotic approaches to multimodal discourse analysis are employed in order to analyse the sampled corpus which consists of videos from five beauty channels on YouTube. A close investigation of the media texts highlights the often disparate and sometimes similar discourses of the opposing groups. However, it is seen that owing to the large viewership of the creators who promote skin-whitening, the hegemonic conceptions of beauty tend to dominate the platform. Finally, the purpose of this study is also to underscore the impact that Eurocentric beauty standards have on young women, especially in the digital age, so that there is scope for further research on how established conventions can be destabilized.
... In Indiaand many global contexts-conceptualizations of race may be better understood in the context of colorism (i.e., the privileging of lighter skin). In India, lighter skin often confers greater status (Nadeem, 2013) and is associated with dominant castes (Parameswaran & Cardoza, 2009;Shankar & Subish, 2007). Although explicit caste discrimination was abolished in 1947, caste exclusion and employment discrimination remain prevalent (Borooah et al., 2014;Thorat & Attewell, 2007), and colorism is pervasive. ...
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Across the globe, women and racial minorities are underrepresented in leadership. We examined the development of 5–10-year-old children's leadership cognition in India, the world's largest democracy. This cultural context offered the opportunity to study the development of attitudes about gender and to extend examinations of children's conceptions of race to include colorism (the privileging of lighter skin). In Experiment 1, children completed a novel Election Task in which they saw a fictional class with 20 students varying in gender (boys, girls) and race/skin tone (darker-skinned South Asian [Dark-SA], lighter-skinned South Asian [Light-SA], Black, White). Children predicted who would be elected as President, Treasurer, Welcomer, and Notetaker. Children most often chose Light-SA and White students as President. When choosing Presidents, younger children showed an own-gender bias, but by age 9, both boys and girls primarily chose boy Presidents. Importantly, children's choices differed for the other class positions. Next, we asked children to draw a “leader.” No boys drew a girl, and girls’ drawings were mixed (52% drew girls). In Experiment 2, we replicated the drawing task findings and compared children's drawings of a leader to their drawings of a helper and a scientist. Children most often drew boys and men as leaders and scientists, but not as helpers, suggesting specificity of children's pro-male bias to male-stereotyped positions. Children's conceptions of leadership reflected a male bias and an association between lighter skin and status. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved
... In the light of recent events such as the renaming of a popular fairness cream brand, Fair & Lovely (Jones, 2020), south-Asian women took to Instagram to share their life experiences as subjects of colourism. Key scholars have previously explored the south-Asian beauty standards and their obsession with fairness (Crasta, 2020;Mishra, 2015;Nadeem, 2014;Jha and Adelman, 2009;Parameswaran & Cardoza, 2009). My previous research on the Indian fairness paradigm and its obsession in India served to be the key motivation to explore this topic. ...
Thesis
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The advent of Instagram has driven women to desire stereotypical notions of beauty and higher self-esteem. Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) and other members of the South Asian diaspora living outside of their countries are often looked up to for their empowered and 'superior' personas. However, this classed, neoliberal, aesthetic representation of NRIs might have plethora of impacts on the discourse of empowerment, and rather, widen this gap for subaltern groups. While previous studies have focused on the impact of Indian diasporas on lower-classed populations, the beauty representations of NRI women on Instagram and its influence on empowerment is yet to be studied. Therefore, this essay aims to study how the young upper-class NRI diasporas utilise post-feminism on Instagram as a framework to sell empowerment to women as an enhanced version of self-styling, self-confidence, and self-love. This essay critically analyses the South-Asian activist trend on Instagram by delving into the rise of postfeminist beauty, and the role that confidence and privilege play therein. I further study how beauty is integrated into the psyche of life and a state of mind, through twelve in-depth, semi-structured interviews. This essay demonstrates that with the appropriation of postfeminist activism, discursive politics of confidence and its relationship with desi cultural politics of appearance, elitist NRI women actively replicate and reinforce oppressive patriarchal and colonialist mentality under the guise of modern feminism. Although post-feminism constructs a tight-knit community on Instagram for desi women, it provides the subjects with a double-edged sword as they practice new femininities, with a newer set of terms and conditions.
... Full-scale Intelligence Quotient scores averaged a from ages 5 and 8 years according to covariates among mother-child dyads with child race, according to covariates: the HOME study (2003)(2004)(2005)(2006) to phthalate-containing products could, in part, be due to discriminative advertising practices, 82,83 directed to maintain European, White beauty standards (i.e., hair relaxers and skin lighteners). 84,86 Our study has some limitations. First, the sample size was modest, and it varied during follow-up. ...
Article
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Early life exposure to phthalates may be associated with reduced cognition. However, it is unknown if disproportionate exposure to phthalates contributes to racial disparities in children's intellectual abilities. Methods: We used data from 253 mother-child pairs in Cincinnati, OH (the Health Outcomes and Measures of the Environment study, 2003-2006). We measured urinary concentrations of 11 phthalate metabolites twice during pregnancy and up to six times in childhood. We evaluated children's cognitive abilities at ages 5 and 8 years. Using mediation models, we quantified covariate-adjusted direct and indirect effects of race on children's Full-Scale Intelligence Quotient (IQ) scores for individual phthalate metabolite concentrations during gestation and childhood. Results: Average IQ scores among Black children (n = 90) were 7.0 points lower (95% confidence interval [CI] = -12, -1.8) than among White children (n = 145) after adjustment for socioeconomic factors. Urinary monobenzyl phthalate and monoethyl phthalate (MEP) concentrations during gestation and childhood were higher among Black than White children. We did not observe evidence that phthalate concentrations mediated the race-IQ association, with the exception of MEP. Childhood MEP concentrations partially mediated the race-IQ association. For instance, each 10-fold increase in MEP concentrations at age 2 years contributed to a 1.9-point disparity in IQ scores between Black and White children (95% CI = -4.7, 0.7). Other phthalate metabolite concentrations during pregnancy or childhood did not mediate the race-IQ association. Conclusions: Despite observing racial disparities in exposure to some phthalates and IQ, we found little evidence that phthalates contribute to IQ disparities.
... This model has received substantial support among adolescents in North America, Europe, and Australia (e.g., Papp et al., 2013;Rodgers et al., 2015); with components within the model beginning to be explored and supported among adolescents in India (e.g., Singh Mannat et al., 2016). Further, given that most media in India promotes narrow appearance ideals (Parameswaran & Cardoza, 2009), the present comic-based intervention presents a form of media that challenges these ideals, and instead, serves to promote body confidence. If this intervention is found to be effective in improving body image, UNICEF, with the support of DSEP, will scale up and disseminate the intervention across eight states of India using a train-the-trainer approach; whereby a trainer in each state will train teachers at the government schools to deliver this intervention to students aged 11-14 years. ...
Article
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Adolescents in India experience body dissatisfaction, however, empirically supported interventions are lacking. This paper describes the protocol for the development, acceptability testing, and cluster rando-mized controlled trial (RCT) of a six-session comic-based intervention, which aims to improve body image and related outcomes among adolescents in semi-rural Indian schools. If found to be acceptable and effective , UNICEF will disseminate the intervention across schools in eight states of India. The acceptability study will be conducted with 24 students in Classes 6-8 (age 11-14) and nine teachers from Hindi-medium government schools using interviews and focus groups. The subsequent RCT will be conducted with 2400 students, with schools randomized to either the comic-based intervention or lessons-as-usual (control) groups. The primary outcome is body esteem, and secondary outcomes are disordered eating, appearance ideal internalization, body-image-related life disengagement, self-esteem, negative affect, and positive affect. Additional exploratory outcome measures are skin colour dissatisfaction, body hair dissatisfaction, appearance-based teasing, and endorsement of traditional gender roles. These outcomes will be examined at three timepoints: baseline (T1), 1 week-post-intervention (T2), and 12-weeks follow-up (T3). Analyses will compare outcomes in the intervention with the control group. This will be the first study to evaluate a body image intervention for adolescents in semi-rural Indian schools.
... https://koran.tempo.co/read/ekonomi-dan-bisnis/449594/perubahan-gayahidup-dorong-industri-kosmetik Besides, in Asian countries (Cardoza, 2009), such as India and Indonesia, skinwhitening products are ranked the highest sold beauty products due to their desire to pursue brighter skin complexion (Saraswati, 2012). "These facts show that there is a relationship between the mainstream beauty discourse and womanhood" (Larasati, 2018). ...
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Every culture has its own definition of beauty. Culture is concerned with the process of how knowledge shapes individuals in constructing and interpreting their world. The two lines of thought in this thesis are the concept of culture and the amount of consumption of beauty products in Indonesia which focuses on the shift of local beauty products to Korean beauty products by Indonesian women of generation Z. The theory of social reality construction is used to analyze Generation Z female consumers regarding K-beauty products which depict their beauty standards. This research uses constructivism paradigm and social reality construction theory as a way to analyze this topic. This is because this study analyzes the construction of the concept of beauty standards for young Indonesian women who are consumers of Korean beauty products, and analyzes how they adopt and perceive the concept of beauty standards. One-on-one interviews were conducted with selected informants. There are three main informants and 2 supporting informants. The results show that social media, TV, movies, advertisements, communities, and key opinion leaders have contributed to setting beauty standards. The Korean wave has played a significant role in shifting the existing beauty standards. The influx of new beauty products and the portrayal of the ideal skin type gave rise to a new agreement on beauty standards by certain communities.
... Kaduvettoor-Davidson and Inman (8) (p. 157) define firstgeneration SAA (which include AIAs) as "those who immigrated to the United States as adults, whereas second-generation South Asians Americans (and Asian American Indians) are those who are either born in the United States or immigrated prior to age 18." India was colonized and under British imperial rule for 400 years, and this resulted in the internalization of cultural norms and values of the British, including the primary use of the English language and the perception of lighter skin being associated with higher social class (17). Although immigrating to the U.S. meant validating many of these same practices, it is not clear whether this made it easier or more difficult for Asian Indians to assimilate into American culture. ...
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Asian Indians were the first South Asians to immigrate to the United States in the late 1800s and are currently the largest ethnic group of South Asians living in the United States. Despite this the literature on perceived ethnic and racial discrimination experiences among this group is relatively understudied. The documented experiences of Asian Indians who either recently immigrated from India or were born and raised in America pose an important question: what are the experiences of perceived discrimination among Asian Indians living in America, particularly among younger populations who are continuing to develop their racial and ethnic identities? The current study utilized phenomenological methodology to explore the experiences of nine Asian Indian American adolescents' (ages 12–17 years). Data were collected via semi-structured interviews to assess participants' experiences of ethnic and racial discrimination and identity development. Thematic analysis was used to identify themes and subthemes among the participants' responses. Asian Indian adolescents living in the United States report experiencing discrimination at a young age. It is also evident that Asian Indian youth experience significant challenges when developing their sense of ethnic and racial identity while living within the United States. Findings document the racial and ethnic discrimination that Asian Indian adolescents living in the United States may experience from a young age. Importantly, these discrimination experiences are occurring as Asian Indian adolescents are developing their racial and ethnic identities. This study provides insight for future research, which is necessary to fully understand the experiences of Asian Indian adolescents. Keywords: South Asian, Asian Indian, race, ethnicity, discrimination, identity development
Article
This article that forms part of a Special Section on ‘Invisible Privilege in Asia’ is committed to expanding the theoretical debates in race and ethnic studies, which has been previously critiqued as a field that has focused more on the gathering of empirical observations than the development of theory. This critique is even more pronounced within the realm of studying race and ethnicity in Asia, where research is often siloed within the contexts of national boundaries and area studies. While national, sub-regional and other specificities exist, here we provide a framework that identifies particular practices and structural processes that are best understood as indicative of a form of invisible, or latent ‘privilege’. In paying attention to the geographical and historical specificities of how privilege functions, this article seeks not to uncritically impose a definition, but understand how and when ‘privilege’ provides a useful analytical framework in the absence of, or in collusion with, other explanatory mechanisms. In doing so, this introduction speaks back to the Western-centric conceptual landscape that sociology as a discipline tends to draw from.
Article
Drawing from a larger ethnographic study, the current article examines, through interactional sociolinguistics, interview and observation data related to English-language tutorials between two employers and their domestic workers’ daughters in two households in Kolkata. The post-colonial, South Asian context represents a site in which such scholarship has been underrepresented (see Mills and Mullany’s 2011 Language, gender and feminism ). The focus of analysis is two-fold: it evaluates the existing power structures between participants, and it assesses the degree to which widespread Indian discourses about the upward mobility of English (see Graddol’s 2010 “English Next India”, published online by the British Council) are relevant to the current setting. In terms of power structures, legitimated domination (see Grillo’s 1989 Dominant languages ) of the employer over her domestic worker emerges as a salient theme; however, affective attachment (adapted from Hardt’s 1999 article “Affective labor”, published in Boundary ; McDowell and Dyson’s 2011 article “The other side of the knowledge economy: ‘Reproductive’ employment and affective labours in Oxford”, published in Environment and Planning ) and reciprocal dependencies help to both reinforce and diminish the severity of the power asymmetry. With respect to the applicability of popular Indian discourses that equate English-language proficiency with upward mobility, the study finds little evidence of their relevance to the current context in which the subordinate positioning of gender intersects with social class to compound its constraining influence.
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Most mainstream media discourses frame discussions around selfies of young women in ways that see selfies as promoting narcissism, self-obsession and as damaging self-esteem. In most of these discourses, there has been a jarring exclusion of the voices of young women who are the central subject of discussion. In response to such an exclusion, this paper presents ethnographic research conducted with twenty young women in the age group of 13-19 years, exploring their engagement with selfies. The paper argues that selfies need to be read as sites where, through the act of self-representation, young women explore the specific experiences of their bodies, including their negotiations with social constructions of gender and sexuality. The paper also explores the contradictions that are present within the narratives of young women and how these might complicate our ideas of agency, resistance and empowerment.
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Lookism is preferential treatment of those considered to be attractive and discrimination against those deemed less physically desirable. Value is attached to certain physical characteristics such as skin tone, weight, facial features, and hair color. Two of the phenomena that exist under the umbrella of lookism are colorism and weightism, both of which create social and workplace inequities. There are studies that explore physical appearance discrimination external to and within workplaces in the United States, and an emerging body of literature regarding lookism abroad exists. Some of this research focuses on women's experiences with lookism in the workplace. Since today's global workforce is composed of women from various countries and cultural backgrounds, and their cultural values impact their career aspirations and career opportunities, organizational and career development professionals must understand the implications of both U.S. and global lookism and employ strategies to address and prevent the related issues.
Article
The present research assessed 5- to 10-year-old Indian children’s attention to social category information and status when evaluating the nationality and characteristics of novel individuals. In Study 1, children chose which of two targets was “more Indian” (with the option to choose “both”). Targets varied on three social dimensions: Skin Tone (White, Lighter-skinned South Asian, Darker-skinned South Asian), Religion (Hindu, Muslim), and Language (Tamil [local state language], Hindi [India’s lingua franca], British-accented-English, Indian-accented-English). Children reliably chose Lighter-skinned South Asian, Hindu, and Tamil-speaking targets as more Indian. In Study 2, focusing on the language contrasts from Study 1, we replicated our nationality findings and extended them to person judgments (kindness, intelligence, and leadership). Children chose Tamil speakers as more “Indian,” and “kind,” Tamil and British-accented-English speakers as more “intelligent,” and British-accented-English speakers as “better leader[s].” Children’s responses reflected attention to markers of social familiarity, representativeness, and status.
Article
The work of beauty—in disciplining bodies, imagining nations, driving globalized commodity networks, and fostering booming tourist industries, for example, is a vibrant area of research across the Humanities and Social Sciences. However, an understanding of the complex ideologies, material objects, and practices of beauty remain undeveloped in our field. In this article we call on geographers to take beauty, and its spatialities, seriously. We center the powerful work of beauty in three connected arenas, each of long‐held interest to political geographers: nationalism, militarism, and development. For each we engage analyses of beauty from beyond our discipline. Drawing on our own research and that of a limited, but growing, body of geographers, we point to the instructive openings a feminist geographic approach to beauty, widely imagined but always grounded in power, offers.
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In this paper, we examine whether the prevalence of colorism in India can be linked to discrimination in hiring for people with darker skin shades. Colorism or preference for lighter skin tones has a long history primarily linked to colonialism in parts of Asia and Africa. More recently, this preference for lighter skin has become amplified by growing and global whitening product industries dominated by multinational corporations. In India, the industry has tried to link lighter skin to economic success, specifically labor market success. However, the existence of such a link is yet to be explored given the lack of skin tone–specific data in the global context. We implemented an experimental survey design in India to overcome this lack of data. Participants in our study were asked to evaluate job candidates on the basis of unchanging resumes paired with photographs manipulated to vary skin tones. We did not find a statistically significant bias in favor of resumes paired with lighter-skinned photographs. Overall, participants tended to evaluate both lighter-skinned and darker-skinned candidates similarly. Our findings suggest that colorism in India cannot be easily linked to direct instances of hiring discrimination. Differential outcomes due to preference for skin color though might operate in other economic contexts beyond entry into employment. It may also exist in social contexts like marriage and family or health outcomes and in situations where beauty ideals are more relevant. Our findings provide an important counter-narrative to the skin whitening industry’s worrisome efforts to expand their consumer base by linking lighter skin to economic success. Our methodology also provides new directions for future research on colorism, an important new global frontier in stratification economics.
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Fair skin in India is glorified to such an extent that, it serves to be a symbolisation of economic and social prosperity. With roots intertwined with cultural history, caste system and colonialism, colourism has a deep socio-historical connection. Post-liberalisation, numerous brands tried to penetrate the Indian market with their secret ingredients, but Fair and Lovely dominated the industry as they mirrored women’s desire to be included in the society. Colourism is a distressingly persistent phenomenon and one that advertising agencies exploit today. This study seeks to examine the cultural politics of appearance in television commercials, western ideals of beauty and its effect on the Indian women measured against them. As part of this debate, the dynamics of diasporic consciousness, oppression, residual colonialism and their entanglement in the Indian cultural system of distinction are also analysed. The study was conducted using qualitative interviews - focus group discussions and personal interviews -alongside a semiotic analysis of Fair and Lovely advertisements. The data is collected from residents of Ahmedabad, Chennai, Mumbai and Bangalore. The findings of this study reveal that cultural standards of beauty in India are now widening and flouting Western standards gradually. It explores the current mindsets of contemporary beauty consumers and the challenges that they faced while tackling the fairness paradigm in India.
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In this thesis, I employ a feminist poststructuralist approach to study the perspectives and experiences of young migrant women living in a hostel in Chennai as they navigate competing discourses on womanhood in neoliberal India. Based on 10 months of ethnographic fieldwork done across two stages, this thesis delves on the experiences of young women, particularly around four themes of contemporary significance, namely safety and street harassment; dowry; relationships, sex and marriage; and practices and ideals of beauty. Rather than positioning women with respect to binaristic categories such as traditional vs modern this thesis strives to situate women within the complexities and contradictions of their daily lives.
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Previous scholarship on the immense popularity of skin-whitening frames this practice as revealing women’s desire to emulate whiteness and upper class White populations. Others have focused on whitening practices to highlight the working of racialized color hierarchy and European/Euro-American hegemony in local and global contexts. This article breaks away from these established theoretical trajectories by arguing that desire for “whiteness” is not the same as desire for “Caucasian whiteness.” Examining advertisements for skin-whitening products in the Indonesian version of Cosmopolitan and skin-tanning products in the American version of Cosmopolitan, the author points out the construction of “cosmopolitan whiteness.” Whiteness is not simply racialized or nationalized as such, but transnationalized. Whiteness is represented as “cosmopolitanness,” embodying transnational mobility.
Article
This article, based on original research from 57 villages in four provinces from North and East India, sheds light on a hitherto unexplored gendered impact of colorism in facilitating noncustomary cross-region marriage migrations in India. Within socioeconomically marginalized groups from India’s development peripheries, the hegemonic construct of fairness as “capital” conjoins with both regressive patriarchal gender norms governing marriage and female sexuality and the monetization of social relations, through dowry, to foreclose local marriage options for darker-hued women. This dispossession of matrimonial choice forces women to “voluntarily” accept marriage proposals from North Indian bachelors, who are themselves faced with a bride shortage in their own regions due to skewed sex ratios. These marriages condemn cross-region brides to new forms of gender subordination and skin-tone discrimination within the intimacy of their marriages, and in everyday relations with conjugal families, kin, and rural communities. Because of colorism, cross-region brides are exposed to caste-discriminatory exclusions and ethnocentric prejudice. Dark-skin shaming is a strategic ideological weapon employed to extract more labor from them. The article extends global scholarly discussion on the role of colorism in articulating new forms of gendered violence in dark-complexioned, poor rural women’s lives.
Article
Contemporary India has witnessed a rise in racism discourse, central to which are people from North-East and Himalayan regions, collectively referred to as ‘Northeasterns’. This has recentred ‘race’ and racism as being a theoretical-political problem of contemporary India itself. However, existing literature shows that there is stark under-theorisation of ‘race’ and racism in Indian context. Drawing from ethnographic research and applying the racialization approach, this paper argues that ‘race’ in India is a postcolonial-neoliberal construct, whereby colonial ‘Mongoloid’ is reconstructed into neoliberal ‘Northeastern’, such that ‘race’ in India acts as a layered mode of constructing identity and difference. It further argues that the ‘Northeastern’ category emerges as a result of exclusion from the ‘Indian’ category, which itself is racialized along Hinduised-Aryanised lines, such that racism is a product of a postcolonial centre-periphery power-relation between India and its North-East; thereby making way for critical ‘race’ scholarship in the Indian context.
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This chapter provides an analysis of pigmentocracy in the context of matrimonials in India by considering existing literature and real-world examples. By examining the role of skin color in the social spheres of caste and class as they relate to matchmaking, I demonstrate the intersectional ways in which women’s lives are impacted. In postcolonial and patriarchal cultural settings, skin color is a factor that is often considered in potential grooms and brides. The negotiation process entailed in arranged marriages is often affected by the perception of one’s skin color as fair or dark, with the former serving as a bargaining chip and the latter as a liability. Ads placed on an online matchmaking site are considered as examples of cultural preferences encompassing caste, class, and color. Other areas of social life that influence pigmentocratic values—including popular culture such as Bollywood and the skin lightening industry—are also explored.
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Synopsis-This article is about advertisements and gender images in the English print media in India, and rests on the assumption that the shift in the Indian state's economic policy in favour of globalisation has accompanied a shift in public discourse as evidenced in the media. Although some images of Indian women are traditional (the homemaker and mother), many are new (the globe trotting corporate leader), and suggest a break with earlier models. Male models are far more conspicuous in the adverts today, and it is argued that liberalisation has heralded new notions for malehood that include traditional and newer notions of power and success. There is a definite effort to incorporate very strong notions of individual achievment, pleasure, and identity for both men and women. The stress on success and a glamorous lifestyle has effectively displaced the larger section of Indian men and women from public discourse.
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This chapter examines how the colonies and metropole shared in the dialectics of inclusion and exclusion, and in what ways the colonial domain was distinct from the metropolitan one. It considers different approaches to colonial studies and investigates how a grammar of difference was once continuously and vigilantly crafted as people in colonies refashioned and contested European claims to superiority. The chapter argues that scholars need to attend more directly to the tendency of colonial regimes to draw a stark dichotomy of colonizer and colonized without falling into a Manichaean conception.
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The article intervenes in the debate over the effects of globalization on the nation-state by exploring the ways in which meanings of the global are produced through the nationalist imagination in India. Globalization in India has unfolded in the context of the `new economic policies' of liberalization initiated in the 1990s. Both television and print media images increasingly contribute to the reproduction of a hegemonic political culture, one that has discarded the remnants of a state-dominated planned economy. An analysis of this process calls into question the post-national thesis of the globalization paradigm. First, the imagined form of the `global' is produced through cultural signs that rest on the deployment of nationalist narrative. Second, media representations depict India's relationship with the world economy through images of a hybrid relation between the national and the global. Finally, globalization in India has led to a form of reterritorialization which polices the boundaries of gendered social codes.
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Using data from the National Survey of Black Americans, this study examines the way in which gender socially constructs the importance of skin tone for evaluations of self-worth and self-competence. Skin tone has negative effects on both self-esteem and self-efficacy but operates in different domains of the self for men and for women. Skin color is an important predictor of self-esteem for Black women but not Black men. And color predicts self-efficacy for Black men but not Black women. This pattern conforms to traditional gendered expectations of masculinity and femininity. Moreover, there are conditions of success that allow women to escape the effects of colorism. The impact of skin tone on self-esteem was much weaker for women from higher social class. Those who had lower self-esteem scores were dark-skinned women from working classes and dark-skinned women who were judged unattractive.
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The purpose of this study was to examine general and cultural factors associated with body image perceptions of African American women college students. A total of 124 African American college women attending a historically Black college completed the following scales: African Self-Consciousness (ASC) scale, the Skin Color Satisfaction Scale (SCSS), the Body Mass Index (BMI), and several body image measures. Results from simultaneous multiple regression analyses suggest that all three factors collectively accounted for a significant amount of variance in dimensions of body image satisfaction. Specifically, SCSS accounted for a significant amount of variance in three body image dimensions (i.e., appearance evaluation, satisfaction with specific body areas, internalization of social cultural messages of appearance), suggesting that the greater satisfaction with one's skin color was associated with more positive, internal perspectives of one's body image. The BMI accounted for a significant amount of variance in measures of appearance evaluation and satisfaction with body areas, such that greater BMI scores were related to a less positive evaluation of overall appearance but more satisfaction with specific body areas. Implications of the findings and suggestions for future research are discussed.
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The study of information and communication technologies (ICT) by geographers has evolved over the past third of a century from a concentration on friction of distance and spatial organization toward a set of four interrelated social approaches: ICT as a set of contested terrains, ICT as a means of perception, ICT as a form of embodiment, and ICT as virtual places or spaces (distanciated social contexts). These approaches are complementary rather than contradictory. What is absent thus far from the ICT debate is attention to ethnicity, except as a surrogate of economic class or in vague allusions to a digital divide. Since people use ICT to build a sense of community and personal identity, both of which relate strongly to ethnicity, the topic deserves attention. The four approaches are integrated here to understand the appropriation of the internet by temporary and permanent immigrants to the USA from India (typically called Non-Resident Indians or NRIs). The concept of virtual space can be used to organize discussion of the use of the internet by NRIs. To better encapsulate the virtual space we employ a map of what we call ‘bridgespace’, a virtual space that supports flows of people, goods, capital and ideas between South Asia and North America. We consider the full range of sites involved in the bridgespace, then direct our attention in particular to ‘matrimonial’ sites, those sites designed to support the identification of marriage partners.
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Race matters, influencing life experiences. Race is not a simple concept, and it is not a single category. Racial identity theories, however, typically handle race as a simple Black-White dichotomy that overlooks within-group heterogeneity, substituting a subgroup--young, low socioeconomic status, darker skinned men--for all African Americans. The centrality of this subgroup image reifies what it means to be Black but excludes African Americans who are women, middle class, and so on. We provide an overview of the situation of African Americans, highlighting within-group diversity in everyday experiences related to gender, socioeconomic status, and physical attributes, including skin tone. Understanding the implications of race from an insider's perspective requires that we view it as a heterogeneous category. http://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/64270/1/Race_from_the_inside.pdf
Book
In January 1987, the Indian state-run television began broadcasting a Hindu epic in serial form, The Ramayana, to nationwide audiences, violating a decades-old taboo on religious partisanship. What resulted was the largest political campaign in post-independence times, around the symbol of Lord Ram, led by Hindu nationalists. The complexion of Indian politics was irrevocably changed thereafter. In this book, Arvind Rajagopal analyses this extraordinary series of events. While audiences may have thought they were harking back to an epic golden age, Hindu nationalist leaders were embracing the prospects of neoliberalism and globalisation. Television was the device that hinged these movements together, symbolising the new possibilities of politics, at once more inclusive and authoritarian. Simultaneously, this study examines how the larger historical context was woven into and changed the character of Hindu nationalism.
Article
We interrogate Nike’s implication in the developments of 1980s and 1990s popular feminisms by contextualizing and examining the advertising strategies deployed by Nike in its efforts to seduce women consumers. Although Nike is represented as progressive and pro-women, we demonstrate Nike’s alliance with normative forces dominating 1980s America. We suggest that Nike’s solicitation relies on the logic of addiction, which demonized those people most affected by post-Fordist dynamics. While Nike’s narrations of “empowerment” appeal to a deep, authentic self located at the crossroads of power and lifestyle, we suggest that these narratives offer ways of thinking/identities that impede political action. Finally, we consider the relations among Nike, celebrity feminism, and the complex and invisible dynamics that enable transnationals to exploit Third World women workers.
Article
Using a longitudinal design that links a sample of southern-reared African American men to their childhood census records (collected in 1920), this study attempts to replicate recent findings documenting the influence of skin color on the socioeconomic attainment of African Americans. The childhood census records used in this study classify African Americans as either black or mulatto, allowing for a unique investigation of color stratification in adult life. Consistent with previous research, findings point to the importance of phenotypic characteristics in influencing the life chances of African Americans. Subjects identified as mulatto enjoyed modestly higher adult socioeconomic status compared with subjects identified as black. While the mulatto advantage attenuates slightly once origin characteristics are considered, multivariate results indicate that differences in social origins are responsible for only 10 to 20 percent of the color gap in adult attainment. Findings suggest that color bias (colorism) rather than family background may be responsible for the bulk of color differences in the socioeconomic status of African American men.
Article
Searching for new customers eager to buy your products? Forget Tokyo's schoolgirls and Milan's fashionistas. Instead, try the world's 4 billion poor people, the largest untapped consumer market on Earth. To reach them, CEOs must shed old concepts of marketing, distribution, and research. Getting it right can both generate big profits and help end economic isolation throughout the developing world.
Article
Using data from the National Survey of Black Americans (NSBA), this study develops and tests a theory of gendered colorism among African Americana The NSBA was collected by black interviewers and includes data on survey respondents' skin color and interviewers' subjective assessment of respondents' physical attractiveness. These data allow for a unique investigation of how skin color consciously or unconsciously influences assessment of physical attractiveness among African American adults. As predicted, results indicate that skin tone influences the attractiveness ratings assigned to black women in a compelling, monotonic manner. The association is significantly weaker for men. The gender-by-skin-tone interaction is consistent with the hypothesis that African Americans perceive fair skin tone as a particularly feminine characteristic Findings suggest the pervasiveness of Eurocentric standards of beauty among African Americans. Implications are discussed in the context of American race relations.
Article
“Mirror, mirror, on the wall Who's the fairest black of all?”
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This study examines the hegemonic articulations of the national and the global, and the constitution of “new” forms of patriotism in select music videos in India. The music videos mobilized aspects of nationalism, globalization, and consumerism in generating ideas around patriotism. The article makes an argument for pursuing the visual as one site where the relationships between national and global in the articulation of patriotism can be tracked. Through a critical visual analysis, these issues are examined in greater detail.
Article
This article analyses the role which advertising discourses play in the construction of a `New Indian Woman' in her multiple avatars of homemaker. Given the new economic climate of liberalization that has been sweeping over India, the urban Indian woman is now an important consumer who, for the first time, has choices available to her. Consequently, advertising now adroitly combines both ideologies of feminism and femininity within discourses of consumerism. The article also argues that advertising discourses and the construction of gender and women's subjectivities are all inherently interrelated, and that they administer and moderate each other. Adopting a modified Foucauldian approach in locating the subject, the woman is seen both as constituted and formed by discourse, as well as resisting it. Moving away from reception-based analyses, the article concentrates on the ideas that producers of media texts have about their targeted audience. It goes on to show how, interestingly enough, women's spaces of resistance are created by advertisers themselves, even if that may not be their primary aim. Finally, the article examines how these spaces of resistance have to be understood as part of the entire dominant social structure.
Article
Data from the National Survey of Black Americans (NSBA) (197980) are used to examine the effects of skin-tone variations of blacks on educational attainment, occupation, and income, net of such antecedent factors as parental socioeconomic status and such contemporaneous factors as sex, region of residence, urbanicity, age, and marital status. The findings are that not only does complexion have significant net effects on stratification outcomes, but it is also a more consequential predictor of occupation and income than such background characteristics as parents' socioeconomic status. Results are consistent with an interpretation that suggests that the continuing disadvantage that darker blacks experience is due to persisting discrimination against them in the contemporary United States.
Article
This paper examines the racialisation and gendering of a collective subject described as ‘Middle Eastern or Muslim’ in the US media in the aftermath of 9/11. It examines how this category came to be visible and prominent through the workings of disciplinary power and forms of governmentality through the binary of freedom and unfreedom, necropolitics and the politics of security and freedom. Multiculturalism in the US, as it was articulated in consumer culture through the national spectacle of the flag, emerged as an example of this new form of governmentality that is both regulative and productive of American nationalism and transnationalism.
Article
This article examines various image‐texts of Indian female beauty in Femina, India's most widely circulating English‐language women's magazine. It argues that in Femina, race (calibrated through whiteness, brownness and even Indianness) and gender (calibrated through normative femininity) intervene in certain epistemologies about India, the West and ‘the world’. In order to posit these ‘geographies of beauty,’ the first part of this article shows that Femina maps the Indian woman's body within nation‐space, that is, as definitively ‘Indian’. The second part of the article turns to the re‐articulation of the nation through and against the ‘West’ as a geography that must be designated and disavowed in order to claim the globality of this Indian body. In Femina, ‘beauty’ is more than a physical attribute; it is a telos toward which the female subject, transformed into a consumer subject and also essentially Indian, moves through these decades of globalisation and national chauvinism.
Article
This paper deconstructs the representations of state‐of‐the‐art colour television sets in India through close textual analysis of print advertisements that appeared in leading national news magazines such as India Today from 1991 to 2001. It argues that the advertisements are indicative of the innovative strategies – such as the home theatre – that are being used by leading manufacturers in the Indian electronics industry to promote television as a technology capable of bringing the outside world inside the home.
Article
This paper's analysis of print media texts about India's six Miss World and Miss Universe title-holders maps the cultural production of the global beauty queen as an emerging hero whose tale of ascent circulates in a nation that is renegotiating its marginal position in the global economy. News and magazine texts celebrate global beauty queens' bodily discipline and devotion to fitness and grooming programs as evidence of the meritorious hard work of committed professionals. Popular biographies construct beauty queens as humble and ordinary women, who have struggled to overcome adversities in their pursuit of global fame. Media accounts navigate the boundaries between modernity and tradition when they represent beauty queens as hybrid--wholesome, patriotic, and cosmopolitan--young women, who preserve their authentic national identities despite their success in the global arena. Unpacking the mythical tales of class, gender, and national ascent that are smuggled into the public profiling of the global beauty queen, I argue that such representations of feminine agency in popular print culture authorize the ideological interests of India's consuming classes.
Article
This article explores the multiple and heterogeneous deployment of the Other within discourses that intersect and contest each other. In the nineteenth century, the discourse of “le femme orientale” which informed the Romantic critique of capitalism, was recuperated in a hegemonic manner to promote a commodity fetish and an expanding consumer culture. The success of this transference was guaranteed by Romanticism, which not only underwrote the discourse of orientalism but ironically advanced a psychology commensurate with the emergence of a consumer society. Since the colonial representation of Otherness operates in a manner analogous to the psychoanalytic fetish, the discursive construction of Otherness is neither fixed nor continuous but ambivalent. The multiple and reciprocal interaction of the twin modes of differentiation—the racial and the sexual—enables the erotic recognition of the Other/the threat of difference to be displaced into alternative fields of power/ knowledge relations and into an economy of desire productive of power.
Article
This article uses two national survey data sets to analyze the effects of skin color on life outcomes for African American and Mexican American women. Using a historical framework of European colonialism and slavery, this article explains how skin color hierarchies were established and are maintained. The concept of social capital is used to explain how beauty, defined through light skin, works as capital and as a stratifying agent for women on the dimensions of education, income, and spousal status. The analysis shows that light skin predicts higher educational attainment for both groups of women. Light skin directly predicts higher personal earnings for African American women and indirectly affects personal earnings for Mexican American women. Light skin predicts higher spousal status for African American women but not for Mexican American women.
Article
Previous studies have shown that skin color matters for Latinos' life chances. Most of these studies have focused on Latinos in the Southwest, specifically Mexican and Chi - cano males. Using the 1994 Boston Social Survey Data, this study examines the effects of skin color for Latinos in the Northeast, specifically Puerto Rican and Dominican men and women. This exploratory study suggests that having dark skin negatively affects wages for men; however, this was not the case for females in the sample. Differences in physical appearance, most notably skin color, hair texture and color, body size and shape, and facial features, have marked racial and ethnic differences and differentially affect the life chances of individuals within different groups. Historically, White colonialists have used skin color as a marker of status. Whiteness was considered superior to the dark-skinned indigenous population of Latin America and to the African slaves they brought with them (Murguia & Telles, 1996). Existing research on phenotype differences among minority groups in the United States, specifically African Americans and Latinos, has shown that in general, lighter skinned or more European featured (i.e. thin lips, aquiline nose, blue eyes, blond and straighter hair) individuals do better than darker skinned individuals of the same group. According to some studies, light-complexioned African Ameri- cans are perceived as more attractive and fare better economically and educa- tionally than their dark-skinned counterparts (Hughes & Hertel, 1990; Keith & Herring, 1991; Russell, Wilson, & Hall, 1992). Although the Latino popula- tion in the United States is made up of groups of many different national ori- gins, much of the research examining phenotype for Latinos has focused on Mexican and Chicano men in the Southwest. Because Chicanos are primarily a mix of Indian and European ancestry, they vary in skin tones from very light
Article
Explores how discrimination based on differences in skin complexion and physical characteristics among African Americans is conveyed by the mass media. Shows that blacks in advertisements have lighter complexions and more caucasian features than those in editorial photographs, and that the females have lighter complexions than their male counterparts. (TB)
Article
This article examines representations of skin color and its symbolic affiliations with discourses of gender, class, and caste in the Amar Chitra Katha (immortal pictorial stories) comic series, the first indigenous children's comics to be published in postcolonial India. We draw on the concept of colorism as defined by Black scholars in the United States to explore the lessons on gender and skin color that these comics may communicate to Indian children. Our analysis shows that Amar Chitra Katha's stories of gods, goddesses, kings, demons, and historical events associate light‐skinned masculinity with divinity, strength, virtue, compassion, and upper caste status. Comic book illustrations code dark‐skinned masculinity through the semiotics of violence, brutality, stupidity, bestiality, and low caste status. Fashioning a similar set of symbolic oppositions, these pictorial stories link light‐skinned femininity to beauty, wholesome family life, and happiness, whereas dark‐skinned femininity manifests through embodiments of grotesque physical appearance, anger, promiscuity, and deviance.
Article
Presents a historical account of the role skin color, facial features, and hair have played in the lives of US Blacks. Special attention is given to the effect these issues have had on Black females, as they strive for feelings of attractiveness, positive self-esteem, and identity in a dominant White society. A list of reading materials is included for clinicians to recommend to clients who are experiencing difficulties related to skin color and features. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Colonial texts condemned the treatment of women in India by identifying a scriptural tradition. The nationalist response was to construct a reformed tradition and defend it on the grounds of modernity. In the process, it created the image of a new woman who was superior to Western women, traditional Indian women and low-class women. This new patriarchy invested women with the dubious honor of representing a distinctively modern national culture. [Colonial discourse, nationalism, gender construction, cultural modernity]
Article
Studies from developed nations indicate that women are generally portrayed in advertisements as homemakers, dependent on men, and sex objects while men are portrayed as dominant, authoritative figures. However, very few researchers have examined role portrayals in ads from developing countries. This study examined the portrayal of women and men in Indian magazine ads. Over 1,100 magazine ads from a wide range of magazines in 1987, 1990, and 1994 were examined. Results indicate that although the portrayals of women and men in Indian magazine ads have changed over the period, they are still portrayed in stereotypical ways. Role portrayals in Indian magazine ads seem to be influenced by the nature of the product being advertised. Similarities and differences between role portrayals in Indian magazine ads and those from other nations are also discussed.
Article
Skin-color preferences and body satisfaction among 100 South Asian-Canadian and 100 European-Canadian female university students were examined. South Asian-Canadian females were found to desire lighter skin than they possessed and had lower body satisfaction compared with European-Canadian females. Among South Asian-Canadians, the desire to be lighter skinned was greater the more participants differed from the cultural White ideal. Light- and medium-skinned South Asian-Canadians had the highest and lowest levels of body satisfaction, respectively.
Article
Objective. We reexamine the issue of phenotypic discrimination against Mexicans in the U.S. labor market, originally studied by Telles and Murguía (1990) and later by Bohara and Davila (1992). We also seek to explain this topic with respect to the Puerto Rican and Cuban populations in the United States. Methods. Instead of us- ing household income as a dependent variable, we use occupational ranking scores computed by Hauser and Warren (1996) in combination with data from the 1990 Latino National Political Survey (LNPS). The occupational rankings more accu- rately reflect the level of labor market discrimination faced by individuals. Further- more, the use of the more recent LNPS allows us to update the work of previous scholars and extend the analysis to two previously unexamined Latino groups— Puerto Ricans and Cubans. Results. Our findings indicate that darker-skinned Mexicans and Cubans face significantly lower occupational prestige scores than their lighter-skinned counterparts even when controlling for factors that influence performance in the labor market. However, we find no conclusive evidence that skin-color differences impact occupational prestige scores for Puerto Ricans. Conclusions. Using earlier data, some scholars found evidence for difference in labor market performance among Mexican Americans as a function of phenotypic variations among Mexican Americans. Today, dark-skinned Mexican Americans and Cuban Americans continue to face higher levels of discrimination in the labor market, whereas dark-skinned Puerto Ricans do not, which may indicate regional differences across the three groups that need to be controlled for.
Patriotism and its avatars: Tracking the national-global dialectic in Indian music videos Sexual violence in India: Eve teasing as backlash Colorism: A darker shade of pale
  • S Asthana
Asthana, S. (2003). Patriotism and its avatars: Tracking the national-global dialectic in Indian music videos. Journal of Communication Inquiv, 27 (41, 337-353. Bagilhole, B. (1997). Sexual violence in India: Eve teasing as backlash. In A. Thomas. & C. Kitzinger (Eds.), Sexual harassment: Contemporary perspectives (pp. 102-121). Buckingham, PA: Open University Press. Banks, T. L. (2000). Colorism: A darker shade of pale. UCLA Law Review, 47 (61, 1705-1746.
November 7.) How fair is my lady? Sulekha Coffeehouse
  • Bantwal
  • Shobhan
Bantwal, Shobhan. (2006, November 7.) How fair is my lady? Sulekha Coffeehouse. Retrieved
The Negro's Americanism
  • M Herskovits