Light skin is a sign of beauty, status and worth around the world, making the skin-lightening industry a highly lucrative one. In India, where the industry is worth approximately $318 million, the group Women of Worth (WOW) created the dynamic campaign Dark is Beautiful to bring attention to the stigma placed on dark skin and to encourage everyone to embrace their natural skin color.
Women of Worth explain the campaign through this video:
WOW created an online survey to stimulate discussion about skin color and the role it plays in society, and held a contest where individuals could express their view on the subject through short story, poetry, photography and painting. (Check out the winning selections here.)
WOW describes itself as a “network of women across India who believe that they can be agents of change. By empowering women and standing up for justice and equality in every facet of life and society, WOW seeks to help women to be the best they can be.” The organization puts emphasis on creating awareness of various issues and encouraging women to come forward and engage in discussion, instead of suffering in silence. The site lists the top themes as depression and suicide, abortion, marriage, careers, relationships, peer pressure and self image.
The great value placed on light skin is a deeply ingrained one in many societies. WOW’s campaign is a great achievement in that it provokes discussion about why certain ideals are upheld and their detrimental effects on society. Best of luck to the women of WOW in their future campaigns as they continue to challenge the status quo!