Monday, December 4, 2023

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What are the Indian beauty standards around the world today?

It is well-known that beauty lies in the eyes of the observer; this old saying, however, is given a more literal meaning when we think about the variety of opinions on what defines a person as “beautiful” around the world. Culture to culture, physical features are emphasized and cared for in different ways, and people experience different pressures to appease standards–and often different restrictions on self-representation–depending on where in the world they find themselves. For a refresher on the differences and similarities in beauty criteria worldwide, we turned to experts Five women who have roots across the globe, from South Korea to Chile and Chile and back.

In the end, when we talk about Indian norms, there is one thing common between North India as well as South! This is the light skin. Pale skin is preferable to darker skin because dark skin indicates that you’re in poor health, working in the sun, or similar to that in the shorter “slave,” Whereas white or pale skin is healthy, beautiful, and gorgeous! White skin is believed to be rich. It is more desirable. If you have dark skin, they’ll prefer to have Deepika Padukone skin, which is that the skin is lightly tanned.

Human race In India Beauty Standards

The human race has always longed for beautiful things, but recently, the desire to be beautiful has reached new heights across the globe. At the beginning of our lives, the idea of “beautiful is good” is well-established in our heads (Rubenstein Langlois, Kalakanis and Renstein 1999). For example, stories from childhood across the world show a gorgeous princess, a charming prince, and a sexy antagonist. While the villain is buried in hell, the princess and prince are happy forever. The idea of “beautiful is good” and “beautiful people getting better grades” (Clifford and Walster 1973) as well as making greater amounts of money (Rhode 2014) and also being more fortunate in the love department (Udry and Eckland 1984) can make a compelling need to be beautiful, not only to be attractive but also to be successful in all aspects of life.

Let’s Explore some Facts about Indian Beauty Standards

Loose and shiny hair

Indians are famous for their beautiful long, soft, and silky hair. All Indian women need to do is shake their hair once or twice and they’ll have hearts that are pounding. With coconut oil made from natural coconut and henna and other hair-nourishing foods that are rich in nutrients, India seems to be at the top of the list in terms of hair products and hair care. Products for hair and hair oil are essential 101 tips for beauty to appear like an Indian beauty.

Fairness Cream

In India, you will not only find numerous colorful clothes, street food, historic sites, and monuments. But you will also discover a vast range of creams for fairness. Why is that? It is due to the history of colonial India a.k.a the British Empire. Fairness was about having wealth and luxury, and most importantly, a status that the commoner could not attain during their lifetimes. Alongside Bollywood’s love affair with London fairness creams, fairness creams also make women less inclined to spend time outdoors. There are numerous advertisements which show women achieving greater results after applying fairness creams, thereby putting into practice the idea that life can be difficult if you’re dark-skinned. Fairness brands well-known in India offer cosmetics and lotion for fairness, facial wash, etc. After focusing on females for a long time, the brand moved into males and emphasized having light skin.
I’m aware that Indian beauty norms are, in general, restricting for women. Many have been long overdue for an update. However, there are some standards I’ve kept for quite a while and I’m not ready to give them up for a while.

There’s also an Indian acceptance of hair. It’s partly because hair is accepted by Indians People who are from the Indian subcontinent have hair that is thick and black everywhere on the body. However, I had to convince my mother to pull my eyebrows back when I was a teenager. Kajol, The Alpha Bollywood actress of the nineties, had a bob for most of the time she was in her profession. In reality TV, excluding shows such as “The Real Housewives of Bollywood It’s fairly normal to wear a little frizz on your forehead. There’s no one trying to smooth it out by using hair straighteners or crop it as we do those in the UK.
Beauty Standards In India

In recent times it has been suggested that the beauty standards in India are becoming more slender and are incorporating higher standards of international standards due to the process of westernization (Runkle 2004 p.38). The standards for ideal beauty are not as strict, and women have significantly increased their efforts to change their appearance according to societal norms (Gelles 2011, Page. 2.). Before we examine the impact Colonialism and Globalization have had and continue to have on Indian standard of beauty, it’s crucial to comprehend the Indian cultural standards for beauty were previously and what the standards are today. It’s useful to study the old Indian literature, arts, and the examples of advertisements for marriage in the early 20th century, that outlines many of the traditional beauty standards to comprehend the past norms for beauty and appearance in India.

Rebecca Gelles, Robert Bracey employed the technique in their essays that examined various Indian old literature and arts to discover the ancient beauty standards in India. However, it isn’t easy to determine the beauty standards in India exactly based on these sources since the standards for beauty may change at various points throughout the past. It is nevertheless useful to know what aspects of the beauty standards have changed from old to modern Indian society.

Effect on Globalization in Indian Beauty Ideal

Although colonialism was a defender of white superiority and firmly established the idea that beauty in white communities, Globalization extensively homogenized beauty ideals and altered the perception of people of beauty across the world. As Geoffrey Jones (2011) points out, although colonialism established white superiority as well as the idea that “white is good” in colonies through Western civilization, Globalization bolstered these values and played an important role in advancing the Globalization of Western beauty standards (Jones 2011, 893, p. 893). However, Hunter (2007) insinuates that globalization has accelerated the continuing colorism through the imposition of Western culture, products, and imperialism. This includes skin color preferences (Hunter 2007 quoted in Wardhani and others. 2018, page. 239).

According to Jones, beauty homogenization begins by assuming ideal beauty, as promoted by multinational corporations from colonial states. The nineteenth century was when the West particularly the Europeans and Americans began to propagate standardizing beauty. They also became enthralled with the the world by publishing scientific journals on the differences in beauty standards (Ibid, page. 891). Jones states that the global growth of the industry of beauty led to the global uniformity of beauty standards and also, beauty was subsequently referred to as that white (Ibid). Western soap brand advertisements begin to link purity with white as time passes. Burke says that colored stereotypes about race in soaps and cleaning products ads are a major factor of Western civilization’s goals during the colonial period (Burke 1996, page. 17-34). In the past, British, as well as U.S. soap advertisers, constantly asserted that their soap would lighten the skin, a process that was referred to as civilizing those of color (Jones 2011, Page. 892).

In quoting Sifneos (2002), Jones mentions in an advertisement that one of the oldest Greek soap manufacturers claimed that their soap could transform even a negro into the color of white” (Sifneos 2002 page. 70, cited Ibid). The growth of the beauty industry did not stop at Western nations but grew to the majority of colonized nations where the idea of beauty in white is a notion rooted in colonialism, and the idea of becoming beautiful by turning white was already in place. In addition, the global media was a major factor in defining Eurocentric physical characteristics as superior to other races, thus promoting the idea that lighter skin tones are preferred over dark tones (Wardhani and others. 2018, page. 239).

According to Rebecca Gelles

According to Rebecca Gelles, due to the rapid expansion in Globalization in the present period, ideas and concepts from different cultures are being pushed across the globe. One example of the values expanding throughout India is western standards for beauty. television and media advertisements from western brands play an important role in promoting white beauty. (Gelles 2011, page. 2.). One of the key aspects that characterizes Western beauty that many Indian women desire is the lighter or whiter skin tone. According to the Srivastav Skin whitening marketplace in India is estimated to be over $200 million in 2017 and 60-65 percent of Indian women are using products to lighten their skin (Srivastav 2017.).

As Wardhani et al. (2018) claim, there is a significant tendency to be drawn to shades in countries where colonialism has been incorporated into Western values (Wardhani and co. 2018 page. 239). Thus, Indian women see more radiant skin and Western beauty attributes as a way to live a better life and as an obligation socially imposed. In societies in which colonialism has already institutionalized the Western beauty standard and whiteness as an indication of beauty standards, the products for skin whitening are readily promoted for their spread via printed and electronic media. For example the British-Dutch multinational consumer goods company created a fair product named Fair and Lovely 1975. It held a 50-70percent share of skin-whitening products across India in 2017. It promoted colorism and perpetuated the idea that “white is good, beautiful, successful” by promoting advertisements within Indian society (Ibid). The advertising and promotion of such products through media has created the idea of Indian ladies that only they can be fair and that failing to strive for fairness is their responsibility (Gelles 2011 p. 13.).

The most famous ad “Kaash Beta Hota” [44-If I only had a son- the character woman, who is a common Indian woman, is shown to be devastated when she learns that her father saying “Kaash Beta Hota” because she is darker in the skin and because of its skin color, the character is not able to get a high-paying job. In addition, she doesn’t get any marriage proposals and is considered low-class. When she is devastated, her mother provides her with an ounce of Fair and Lovely. When she starts using Fair and Lovely, the way she lives dramatically changes. She is now whiter, receives an increase in position, makes more money, is offered marriage proposals, and at the same time her style of clothing changes to Western clothes. She also invites her parents to a posh restaurant for dinner. This showed how whiteness impacted her social standing too. This commercial does not only advertise whiteness as the sole beauty ideal but also shows the impact that whiteness has on a person’s social and social status and also opens the way to employment opportunities.

However, this pattern is further reinforced by the film industry, especially Bollywood, in which the actresses portray the ideal beauty of Indian women. This image is deeply embedded into Bollywood. Bollywood movie industry where most of the actresses are whiter in skin tone and Eurocentric aesthetics. It’s the awe-inspiring way that in a nation where the majority of women are darker in skin tone, Bollywood actresses portray the stereotype that depicts Ideal Indian women as white with Caucasian characteristics. For example, Aishwarya Rai, who is white with a light skin tone with a slim and tall body, blond hair and blue eyes, was one of the Indian ladies in the 1994 Miss World contest, which she was the winner. She was also featured in other bleaching and whitening products and hair dying advertisements that promote whiteness and Eurocentric beauty as an everyday Indian beauty standard. Yet, Globalization and media have played a significant part in not just promoting European civilization’s goal during the colonial period, but also in propagating as well as homogenizing European beauty standards across the world, and in particular in propagating the idea that whiteness as the sole thing that can be considered beautiful within Indian society.

Consider reading about: What are Russian Beauty Standards


The desire to look beautiful and to be attractive has been present throughout the history of mankind. But the definition and the perception of what constitutes beauty have varied from one society and even from state to state. When centuries ago people in the West were awed by Persian or Asian beauty standards, today beauty standards have become homogenized and standards for beauty have been Westernized all over the world. It is difficult to define beauty standards accurately, but evidence suggests that beauty standards have become homogenized the beauty standard has changed to be Eurocentric, especially in societies that are colonized. Colonialism shaped the way of thinking of race-based people by instilling white superiority as well as the notion that “white as good and beautiful” in societies that were colonized The Globalization and the media have further exacerbated the notion of superiority and elevated the concept to new heights and made whiteness the most essential aspect that defines beauty. In India where women were regarded as beautiful in accordance with the beauty standards that were prevalent in the precolonial era, this thought method was completely changed in the course of British Colonialism.

The British colonialists deep-rooted Western values, beliefs, and ideal of beauty in Indian society through strengthening and restoring the traditional Indian values, beliefs, and customs that have been in place throughout India for decades. However, when the postcolonial period began, it seemed that the colonized people had been liberated from Western oppression and are now free to organize their societies with their values, culture, and culture. The reality is that the colonization process is not over because colonization is the occupation of territory, but also the occupation of mind, soul and the world’s perception of the people being colonized, according to Fanon calls it Epistemological Colonialism.

Thus, the people of colonialized countries can only enjoy territorial decolonization, but not the psychological one. So, there isn’t any short-term solution that could remove this way of thinking promoted through colonialism by altering the values, practices, and practices of countries that are colonized by infusing the colonial powers ‘ values and values. Additionally, Globalization, on the contrary, has further impeded the process of decolonization, by encouraging and enhancing colonial values and practices. Western values, culture, and customs were engrained in the colonial period, where media was the most effective source of propagating these stereotypical beliefs.

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