In a country where fairness cream advertisements are still broadcasted freely, beauty standards and stereotypes remain a damaging issue. Amongst less progressive communities, dark skin is still considered "inferior" or "ugly" (source: distant relatives.)
Women, in particular, are subject to particularly specific ideals and standards. Remember the guy in Bangalore yelling at a girl in jeans for not following the "Indian dress code?" While a great example, that incident is just the tip of an iceberg of cultural ideologies, made evident by repeated cases like this.
An Unrequited Makeover
Cricketer Smriti Mandhana is an icon, named Best Women's International Cricketer by the BCCI. She beat Virat Kohli's record to be the second-fastest Indian to score 2000 runs in one-day internationals. Yet, even with such accomplishments, to some people, a larger matter of concern remains her appearance.
A photoshopped image of Mandhana that adds makeup and makes her skin fairer has been making rounds on the internet, used in several websites in place of the original shot. While no one knows who edited the image originally, it's concerning that such ideologies continue to exist in modern-day society. Exist influentially enough for someone to take the time to edit this image and upload it to the Internet, for it to be used by various websites in place of the unedited one thereafter.
A New Incident, An Ancient Story
While concerning, the incident fails to surprise anyone familiar with Indian society, and for good reason. Take a look at the most famous celebrities in the country, especially amongst females, and a trend is soon visible.
Conventionally attractive individuals, more often than not fair or light-skinned. Even for characters with darker skin tones, we'd rather resort to brown/blackface than casting someone with a matching skin tone.
It doesn't take a lot to figure out that these ideas stem from a lingering impact of colonialism, as well as general casteist and bourgeois attitudes (the working class was tended to be darker in complexion due to long hours spent under the sun.) Somewhere, in our own society, lingers the association of lighter skin to conventional beauty and positive attribution. This is amplified by the fact that Bollywood continues to portray poorer characters through darkened skin tones, even today.
Under My Skin
While this is definitely a societal issue to tackle from, as always, the ground-level known as education, efforts are often void if the media continues portraying harmful stereotypes. This is where our duty, as responsible consumers, plays a part.
Refuse to consume media that propagates arbitrary beauty standards. Critique these incidents enough to not only be heard but listened to. Educate those around you as to why this is a legitimate issue, and not another "SJW" reaction.
If you think a single person can't have much impact, remember that society is just a bunch of individuals. Even if only one in every ten people raises a voice against these issues, a tenth of our population is more than loud enough to be heard.