Who’s The Fairest Of Them All?

After a month in the sun in Australia over Christmas we all returned to Qatar with what my Grandma would have considered a healthy glow, Cancer Australia may have had called it something else. Unnecessary? Irresponsible? We wore heavy duty sun screen, but there were a couple of times we came home from the beach looking a little pink.

We have two children who have inherited G’s father’s warm coloring and two children who have my very white and prone to freckling Irish skin. Can I just throw in here that I also have Chinese heritage and as much as my grandmother was happy to pass on the thick hair and the almond brown eyes she couldn’t quite manage to share her flawless skin.

Although I’ve never been a tanning bed or a spray tan girl, I am a lover of a quick slather of tinted moisturizer. Something that just adds a bit of colour to my fluorescent white legs to stop me glowing in the dark. But it appears that I am alone in my quest to be brown in Qatar. A quick scan of the supermarket shelves made me realize I was swimming against the current, while the beauty industry screamed out a not so subtle message from the shelves.

Nivea want to give me a natural fairness.


Whereas Olay are going to give me an advanced fairness


Ponds will provide me with a flawless white


And Loreal will have me white perfect


Garnier will wash my face fair with their fairness face-wash


And “Fair” & Lovely – the Daily Fairness Experts…


See the oh so subtleness of the unhappy brown version versus the look how much paler I am white version?

It is moments like these where I find myself baffled by the outrageous behaviour of the international giants of the beauty industry. How do you get away with this?  What gets said in the marketing meetings? “Put a happy light faced girl on the front and then a sadder, darker version behind her, that’ll work, that should do it.”

In a moment of naivety and perhaps in a futile search for an appropriate explanation I asked a shop assistant why these products were on the shelf.

“It’s better Ma’am, to be lighter.”

Fairness, flawless white.

It is far from fair, and it is very flawed.


Sign up for the best bits here

Your favourite posts from the group as well as the gems from the podcast. We'll send it straight to your inbox to save you searching

Powered by ConvertKit