Indian Americans Favour Lighter Skin Tones: Study

Thursday, 28 November 2013, 10:44 Hrs   |    1 Comments
cmt right
Comment Right
cmt right
cmt right
Printer Print Email Email

Washington: A vast majority of Indian Americans have an aesthetic preference for lighter skinned people and consider those with darker skin to be less attractive, according to a study conducted by an Indian-American dermatologist.

Sejal K. Shah, a young doctor at the St. Luke's and Roosevelt (SLR) Hospital in New York City, conducted the study with Andrew F. Alexis, director of SLR's Skin of Colour Centre.

About 190 individuals recruited from local cultural fairs and temples participated in the study.

One out of seven - or approximately 15 percent of participants - said they use or have used some sort of skin-whitening or bleaching product because they want to make themselves look more beautiful.

An equally alarming result from the study indicated a low awareness of the potential risk of skin cancer among South Asian Americans:

* Only 46 percent of the study population believes that individuals with darker skin tones are at risk for cancer;

* Only 26 percent reported regularly protecting themselves from sun exposure;

* Only 64 percent believe that sun exposure is associated with skin cancer.

Shah blames pop culture for most of the misunderstanding, especially for the biases Indian Americans have towards lighter skinned people.

"Many Bollywood actresses and Miss India winners have noticeably lighter complexions," she notes.

"A quick look at Indian matrimonial sites also indicates a strong preference for a 'fair' bride.

"Our study brings to light what has long been suspected in the South Asian culture: Lighter skin tones are favoured."

Most disturbing, Shah points out, is the commonly held - and incorrect - belief among South Asian Americans that they do not require the same skin protection against the sun in comparison to people of paler complexions and skin tones.

"People with darker skin tones have more melanin, which is a natural protector against ultraviolet radiation," said Shah.

"However, that does not mean that skin of colour individuals are not at risk when out in the sun."

Shah and Alexis have submitted the study to a peer-reviewed journal for publication.
Read More:
U.S. Senate Confirms Indian-American Dancer To Art Job
Wal-Mart Resumes U.S. Lobbying On FDI In India

Source: IANS
"Game of Thrones" author George R.R. Martin doesn't want season eight to be the final chapter of "..
Facebook-owned messaging app WhatsApp is still developing its previously announced "Vacatio..
The Reserve Bank of India injected a total liquidity of Rs 2.98 lakh crore in the market in 20..
Wiley, a global leader in research and education has announced a series of blended learning progr..
The Pentagon has selected Microsoft and Amazon Web Services (AWS, the cloud computing arm ..
US Indian
Facebook-owned photo messaging app Instagram has launched the beta version of its in-app sh..
Google Pixel and OnePlus smartphones are catching up and giving stiff competition to Samsu..
Enterprise IT
Taking on streaming giants like Netflix and Hulu, Walt Disney Co. has announced it will laun..
Startup City
Youth are leading India's start-up ecosystem where the median age of founder-entrepreneurs..