When you are five feet nothing, gifted with small eyes, a button nose and a dad whose bank balance does not lose its balance under its own weight, then you could only sigh and dream on.
But then my TV tells me I can be a traffic stopper and a head-turner if and only if I have dazzlingly fair skin! Reality check — I don’t!
I am what you’d call dark,or as the more politically correct term goes — dusky. Darn my Bengali genes — looks like I have no hope! No hopes of getting that neighbourhood hunk’s attention, no hopes of bagging that promotion at work and certainly no chance of strutting down the ramp.
But then, lo and behold, the idiot box gives me a solution — fairness creams!
They are a dime a dozen, so options are really not the problem. They are available everywhere and even when you try to ignore them the sales attendants thrust them under your dark nose, whether you like it or not.
So what if regular use could make my skin so thin it could split and result in photo-sensitivity? Who needs the sun anyway? At least I would get married! Did you roll your eyes and say ‘really!’? Well, the ads promise marital bliss if only one would use the creams.
But if you’re shallow enough to think that it’s only about physical beauty, think again.They also promise you success and power that feminists may be proud of. Or not.
That’s not the end of it either. The conventional idea of male beauty seems to have been white-washed too. The tall, dark and handsome of the world need steroids and bleach-laden creams as well!
So boys and girls it’s in that genie’s bottle — the reins of the fair world.