The study was inspired by the recent crowning of the first Indian American Miss America, Nina Davuluri. Dermatologists Sejal K. Shah, MD and Andrew F. Alexis, MD, MPH polled 190 individuals and found 15 percent of participants claimed to use bleach products to lighten skin.
“Many Bollywood actresses and Miss India winners have noticeably lighter complexions,” Dr. Shah said. “A quick look at Indian matrimonial sites also indicates a strong preference for a ‘fair’ bride. Our study brings to light what has long been suspected in the South Asian culture: Lighter skin tones are favored.”
The study also found a low awareness among South Asian Americans of the potential risk of skin cancer. Only 46 percent of participants in the study believe individuals with darker skin tones are at risk for cancer.
For more about the study’s cancer risk awareness finding, read the article at IndUS Business Journal.