Master of Science in Journalism

Faculty / School

Faculty of Business Administration (FBA)


Hammad Sarfraz, Lecturer, Centre for Excellence in Journalism

Project Type

MSJ Capstone

Abstract / Summary

“Kia aap bhee chahtay hain bright, glowing skin?” “Aaj hum dark circles aur pigmentation khatam karnay k tareeqay sikhaengay” “Kia school aur college ja ja kar apka complexion kharab hogaya hai?” “Uneven skin tone ka asal hal kia hai?” “Chalain jee! Pyara pyara gora gora rang karnay ki tarqeebain aap say share karengay aaj”

A number of problems: pigmentation, uneven skin tone, tan complexion; one meaning: dark skin. A number of claims: brightening, glowing, evening out; one result: skin whitening. It is said, “Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder” and so, embedded in any society are expectations from individuals of said society to look a certain way. These standards are cultivated over the years, condoned by businesses for profit and perpetuated by media which shoves them down our throats to the point that we don’t even realize it is happening anymore.

The yardstick of beauty in Pakistan revolves around skin color; silently escalated by the actors and actresses on our TV screens, the anchors on our news shows and the influencers on our Instagram feeds. Too many fall victim to this perception of perfection and strive to fit into this box of “White is Beautiful” in hopes of not only marriage prospects but also better job and career opportunities.

The reality though is darker than the skin any of us are born with. It reeks of exploitation of the masses and their struggles, betrays unregulated whitening products and their potential side-effects and manifests itself in the current and future generations in the form of depression and anxiety.

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

This research is openly accessible under CC By 4.0.