Women of Worth Say No to Skin Lightening

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!



Tarak Mehta
Tarak Mehta4 years ago

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Alyssa Riley
Alyssa Riley7 years ago

White skin is so beautiful for a nice English boy who is meant to have light skin, I'm of Swedish and Norweigan heritage and I absolutely fear getting tan or burnt in the sun because I love my skin and we should all love our skin. I find pale skin to be the most attractive.

Adam G.
Adam G8 years ago

a lot of white people spend hours on the beach or in salons getting "the perfect tan". why? because most white people (yes, including those who won't admit it) know that darker skin is more attractive.
for some, it's only a subconscious knowledge, but it's still there.
personally, I find white skin to be a major turn off.

Lea Humphrey
Lea Humphrey8 years ago

having been told since an early age that i look like a glass of milk -- i don't tan well, i always wished for darker skin and envied my friends who were of african ancestry. fortunately, i've come to terms with my skin -- it's mine. so i pamper it with lotions and sun screen and take care of it...

Kel H.
Kel H8 years ago

This problem is the same in the African American community. I have had serious debates with women who only prefer to date or marry light skinned black men. How stupid is that!!! Its real unfortunate to think that in 2009 black women are still teaching their children that light is right, if you are brown stick around and if you are black get back attitude is okay . this is even present in black sororities...they deny it but it exists! People with darker skin should be grateful. This is a deep seeded issue for many and its been kept in the closet for years. I'm glad its finally out in the open! Besides that the chemicals in skin brighteners and bleaches are very harmful to your skin. Once you lighten your skin you can't go back!

Jessie M.
Jessie M.8 years ago

Way to go everyone for speaking out against this worship of pale skin. I am super pale and would love to trade it for what I think is more beautiful dark skin but I guess the point is to be happy with the skin you're in even if I can't tan! The more women start to stand up and refuse to be judged purely by our outsides the better off we'll be.

Kerstin Strobl
Kerstin Strobl8 years ago

it isn't important which colour your skin has, the very important thing is the soul and the heart and nothing else................
Be proud of yourself!

Viki Vogli
Viki Vogli8 years ago

love the skin you are in - thats a good phrase!!! so who wants freckles and zits and bruising and red spots, and more wrinkles, and large pores, and - well that is my 'white' skin - and I am 1/2 Italian! We are all beautiful - ya know what makes all the difference in the world - a smile!

Chris McCabe
Christina McCabe8 years ago

Love the skin you're in, from eggplant to apple to candle-wax! But dark skin has some advantages for protecting from fierce sun; why increase your risk of skin cancer for mere cosmetic reasons, & enrich the dealers in this ethnocentric trade? There could be some rotten chemicals in these skin bleaches.

Denise Tankha
Vijay Tankha8 years ago

Here in India a light skin means you are of the higher caste, Brahmins. Those with darker shins were supposed to belong to the lower caste and are not acceptable. Its a stupid caste thing started by the Brahmins, thousands of years ago to retain the upper hand in everything. Caste is all important to Indians, even the most progressive, if scratched, will show his deep belief in this system. Its part of the Indian psyche. Far too many people have suffered because of it and the TV ads are going crazy enticing youngsters to buy some concoction to lighten their shins and thus become moe appealing. Rubbish!