Gender and Transnational Visual Economies of Beauty in India
This chapter provides a critical treatment of whiteness against a transnational web of visual technologies as they permeate the fabric of everyday life in India. The tide in the semiotics of skin color in India's visual economy of mobile and cross-cutting magazine, television, Internet, and film images oscillate between the binaristic opposing poles of “whiteness/lightness/fairness is generally positive” and “blackness/darkness/brownness is generally negative.” In globalizing India's shifting ethnoscapes, fluctuations in skin color are also tied to the greater rate of traffic in white and Indian female bodies that are moving across borders through new channels of mediated culture. Finally, the cultural politics of the epidermis in India also haunts the visual field of postcolonial national state politics, an arena that presents opportunities for future work.
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