ALL IS NOT FAIR: The Cosmetics war on Women in India
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THESIS ABSTRACT Sandeep K. Sambhi Master of Science Conflict Dispute Resolution Program June 2016 Title: All is Not Fair: The Cosmetics War on Women in India I examine the effects of skin whitening and bleaching practices by women and girls of India, and the links between globalization, capitalism, and Indian media. I examine the negative health effects of the use of skin lightening creams, along with the psycho-social effects for women and girls, and the pan-cultural effects of the advertising and marketing by the companies who sell these creams as cosmetics. I argue that the companies who sell them carry great economic power, bolstered by their promotion of colorism and bias toward fair skin. The links between profit, colorism, caste and gender inequality are explored, along with the historical roots of caste and color in India. Media bias for fair skin in India and media are discussed, along with effects on women’s efficacy, self-esteem, and the effects of fair skin bias on opportunities in work and marriage. Resolution, education and public outreach efforts are also presented here.