The Shoat Statements

Random musings by the multiple voices inside my head.

Is it just me that doesn't get this whole Asian (that's India, Sri Lanka & Pakistan as far as I know) obsession with fair skin? In the whole course of my existence, I have met just two people who didn't want fairer skin, or a girl/guy with fairer skin. That doesn't say much for our warped mentality.

Adding vitality to life, says Unilevers. They seem to be adding a whole lot more, what with the umpteen variants of fairness products that they put into the market. Apart from earning billions for the company, does this product do one jot of good to the consumer? It takes perfectly normal skin (yes, dark skin IS the norm for this region) and offers the completely unnecessary solution of making it fair. The saddest bit is that it isn't even permanent - the moment you stop using the cream, you're skin will go back to looking like that of a normal Asian's (nope, that's not personal experience).

Now they come up with a new & improved term - radiance cream. Who on earth do they think they are kidding? The product is still Fair & Lovely right, radiance or not? Grrrrrrrr...I don't even know where to begin. The premise is that to get anything at all in life - friends, a guy, a girl or a job, one needs to be beautiful (radiant, it seems these days). Beauty is defined as being fair. What happened to beauty being only skin deep? What happened to character, personality, values or intelligence? Apparently, you need none of those as long as you're well stocked with Fair & Lovely.

Now we have the almost absurd situation of Shahrukh Khan, dark as ever, advertising Men's Active, the male version of Fair & Lovely. You would think that with all that money, fame & riches, he'd have the good sense to refrain from indulging in an ad so putrid. But no, because good sense goes straight out the window when the cash register jingles. I think someone should call Madame Tussaud's. his waxen image will need to be lightened, in light of his latest commercial engagement. I guess I'm being naive to expect the local Joe to exhibit sense, when our educated superstars doesn't seem to be any the wiser.

These kind of utterly irresponsible products only worsen a region beset with a colonial hang-up - fair, white skin. Not one single person who wants to be fair can give you a solid reason as to why. To be 'pretty' or 'so that guys will like me' is pathetic to see the least. The obvious logic of not needing to be surrounded by people who appreciate you for something that superficial seems to totally escape them.

Apart from causing indescribable damage to a young girl's self esteem, and warping her values for good, we apparently decided to advertise as a region our collective lack of sense. Two cricket matches, two countries, and two separate incidents of racial abuse at African/Black players. Our love of white skin has taken us to new levels of shame. Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds was racially abused by spectators while fielding in Thursday's one-day match against India in Baroda, and in a completely unrelated but equally shameful incident, four spectators in Lahore were arrested on Friday for making racist remarks towards a South African player and official during the final day of the second Test against Pakistan.

Is this what we've come to? Taunting and abusing people for being black? For heavens sake, we're Asians!!! Do they not have any mirrors at home? The need to be white is so ingrained in our psyche that now we look down on dark skin. What right do we have to complain of Murali being taunted Down Under, when we've effectively shown that we are no better? Before anyone says that Sri Lanka has not yet hosted such shameful displays of racism, I think we all know that the mentality is common enough here.

Shame on everyone who has ever endorsed fair skin, and anyone who has ever bought a tube of Fair & Lovely should be arrested for exibiting levels of stupidity that is surely illegal.

I've touched on this before, so you can consider this as an extra paragraph on one of my earlier posts, and less of a brand new post.

BBC reports that the US State Department is still wondering how $1.2 billion has been spent by a private US company, DynCorp, ostensibly to train Iraqi police. Yup, one of those private contract thingies.

These Americans must be taking lessons from us, because they sound more Sri Lankan everyday. Key phrases include "there has been no intentional fraud", from which we may be expected to assume that the fraud was unintentional. How do you have unintentional fraud, anyway? I must keep my eyes pealed for the next State Department release, which might explain this.

In this information age, they've also managed to lose track of the documents, because that's the official reason as to why the auditors have stopped trying to audit the programme. The audit goes on to say that the State Department cannot say "specifically what it received" for most of the money paid to DynCorp, the largest single contractor to the department.

It's hilarious. They don't know where the money went, what they got in return, and even the paperwork is a mess. Who are we to criticize the Sri Lankan government, when the Americans are faring no better?

I'm off to do penance for abusing my government.

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