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2-min read

Uh, Oh! Patanjali Thinks Dark Complexion Is A Skin Ailment

Dear Baba Ramdev, it's time for some lessons.

Anurag Verma | CNN-News18

Updated:January 10, 2018, 11:04 AM IST
Uh, Oh! Patanjali Thinks Dark Complexion Is A Skin Ailment
Photo credits: @beastoftraal

(Edit Note: The copy has been edited to include Baba Ramdev's response)

It's no secret that our country is obsessed with fair complexion.

We have fairness creams, fairness soaps, fairness face washes -- all of that promise to make our "dark" faces, knees, elbows, and other parts of the body multiple shades fairer.

"Didn't work", "No difference, didn't work", "Maybe it works for others but not for me," are the most common customer reviews under such "beauty" products sold on e-commerce websites.

It's 2018, and dark complexion is still looked down upon in India. Even in our Bollywood conversations, we quickly slot anyone who has a complexion that's a shade darker than milk, as 'unconventional' looking. Because who doesn't love the Chittiyaan Kalaiyaan, right?

Now, in a very problematic ad, Baba Ramdev's Patanjali fuels the very thought while marketing their "Beauty Cream" by calling dark complexion a skin ailment.

In an ad published in Deccan Chronicle on 17th December, Patanjali, advertised their "Beauty Cream" to heal dry skin, wrinkles, and dark complexion. Dark complexion, too, was listed under skin ailments. The product claims to heal and give you the confidence of 100% natural beauty. Yep.

Description as given:

Possesses the benefits of wheat germ oil, turmeric, aloe-vera, and basil etc. which are extremely beneficial for skin ailments like dry skin, dark complexion and wrinkles. Patanjali beauty cream is not just another cream but is a skin nourishment tonic and treatment. It gives you the confidence of 100% natural beauty. Try it yourself and suggest to your family and friends.

Also, if you look carefully (bottom left), the ad takes a direct dig at other MNCs who "are full of chemicals while Patanjali products are natural".

A Twitter use who goes by the handle @beastoftraal brought the ad to our attention. Along with a screenshot of Patanjali ad, he wrote, "No Baba Ramdev... 'dark complexion' is NOT a skin ailment. Did Tarun Vijay write your ad?"

After the social media uproar, Baba Ramdev himself took to Twitter to clarify that the actual word was lost in the translation and he doesn't support color discrimination.

He wrote, "We approved the word - 'Skin Complications' (त्वचा के विकार), which by error, got changed in translation/copy-writing. I always talked about maintaining natural beauty and never supported color discrimination."

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