Oh, Watsons Malaysia… why?
If you have been keeping up with the Kardashians… WHAT? No, I mean the latest news, you would know about the whole blackface fiasco Watsons got themselves into. If you missed it, see here, here and here.
I’m not going to lash out at them because I think what I want to say, others have already conveyed it. It just surprises me how such an insensitive ad can be approved or that not a single person involved in the making of the ad actually felt that there’s something not very right with it.
I am sure Watsons has no bad intention nor are they racist as claimed by some. I mean, why would they purposely make something offensive? They are a business.
Unfortunately, this incident just shows the reality of this world. The way part of the society thinks (conscious or unconsciously) that it is ok to point out a certain part of a human as being undesirable and ugly.
It’s not just Watsons, I hate ads from Fair & Lovely and Nivea. Basically, any ads that sell the message that being fair skinned is better. I also hate slimming ads, anti-acne ads, shampoo ads and most beauty related ads. The message of how life seems to magically be better; you’ll get that guy or that promotion IF you look beautiful (by the world’s standards) on the outside.
But, the media sells us what we want, don’t they? So is the media the only party we should blame? Just a question to ponder upon.
Whether you’d like to admit it or not, we all put importance in outer beauty to a certain degree, we all have thought to ourselves if only we can be more beautiful or handsome, we all have commented/ laughed/ made fun/ disapprove of someone who looks different from our own perception of beauty (maybe not out loud but just admit that you have at least thought of it). Like it or not, we all contributed to this disease, one way or another.
Some might say it’s just a joke but that doesn’t make it right or any less hurtful. It is a form of bullying, nevertheless. Same with those who laughed at these jokes. No difference.
I think it is great to take care of our physical bodies, to look good and feel good. But it’s definitely wrong to cause others harm in any way, just because you think you are better. Yes, nobody would make fun or judge someone if they don’t think themselves as better than the other person.
The scary thing is we all can be a bully and indirectly teach bullying to kids if we are not careful.
How many times have we made negative comments about our own appearances or other people’s appearances in front of our kids?
You made or laughed at fat jokes and you’re surprised when your kid make fun of fat kids in school?
You always judge how you look and you think your kid would grow up with the best self-esteem?
How you live your life, what you think, what you say, what you believe, what you do; all affect those around you. You play a far bigger role in this, far more than you imagined. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.
The great thing is we get to choose to wise up and be more kind to ourselves and others. To know the value of a human being has nothing to do with their looks. To understand the damage it causes and to stop this kind of bullying.
Most importantly, we all learn to be our own kind of beautiful. No matter what or who the world decides to compare us with, we ARE beautiful. Period.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
– Psalm 139:14