I went to the Indian food store today with my mom and I stumbled upon these, among a dozen other skin whitening products marketed towards both men and women. I’ve always known Fair and Lovely is a thing but Fair and Teens, a skin whitening product targeted specifically at young girls, makes me so so sad. That image alone comparing the before and after images of skin tone is so sickening to me and only perpetuates the shadism desi people experience every day in an effort to look as white as possible because apparently the only way to be beautiful is to be white. It just makes me so angry that products like this exist and that they’re indirectly responsible for a lot of young brown girls internalized hatred for their skin and their race. Speaking as someone that’s been there, please don’t fall into this trap. Your skin is beautiful no matter how dark or light it is.
Michelle Frankfurter has recently completed her multi-year project titled Destino documenting Central American migrants traveling through Mexico to cross into the United States. Riding on top of freight trains through the southern Mexican states, the trip becomes even more perilous as the migrants approach the notoriously violent border. Frankfurter’s sensitive images are remarkable in their beauty and ability to capture both the danger of this journey and a sense of optimistic adventure. Frankfurter describes the project like this: “In Destino I seek to capture the experience of people who struggle to control their own destiny when confronted by extreme circumstances. Destino is both a social commentary on one of the biggest global issues of our times and an epic adventure tale. It conveys the experience of a generation of exiles, driven by poverty and the dysfunction of failed states, traveling across a landscape that has become increasingly dangerous, heading towards a precarious future as a last resort.”