A collage featuring all 30 participants of Miss India 2019 beauty contest has caused a heated debate as online sleuths tried to figure out why the girls looked so similar and all had such fair skin.
An Indian user has posted the collage from Times of India paper on Twitter with a question: “What is wrong with this picture?” and got an avalanche of replies.
With all of the contestants having dark shoulder-length hair and fair skin tone, the organizers of the pageant were slammed for sticking to a single beauty standard. Some commentators even suggested that the girls were clones, while others insisted that they were pictures of the same person.
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Some philosophically noted that the girls being so alike was actually a good thing as they could all consider themselves the winner when one of them takes the crown.
There were many regrets about darker-skinned beauties not fighting for the title, despite India being such an ethnically diverse country. But others pointed out that such a situation was typical for the pageant.
India’s obsession with fair skin is a long-standing trend, with even the majority of Hindu gods being depicted as white-skinned. “Fairer is better” is the slogan that many women in the country hear from their early years because it’s easier for those with lighter skin to find a good husband.
And there’s a major industry to help them achieve whiter skin, as ‘Fair and Lovely’ cream remains in the highest demand since the 1970s. A number of online sleuths even suggested that the makers of the whitening cosmetic products were sponsoring the pageant.
In recent years, several campaigns, including Dark is Beautiful and #unfairandlovely, sparked in the country to protests the fair skin obsession, but so far they have been unable to change Indians’ perception of female beauty.
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