“It is demeaning to equate beauty with fairness,” says clinical psychologist Hvovi Bhagwagar, adding that fairness is a big issue, even among the educated urban population.

“Instead of moving away from stereotypes based on skin colour, we are getting them further entrenched into our mindsets,” says Hvovi who predicts that at least 90% of the target audience is likely to check out the application, though they might be reluctant to admit it.

“Don’t forget that FB is also a major marriage market where people choose someone based on their physical appearance,” says Hvovi. “People still airbrush their pictures before sending it to prospective partners,” she adds.

While the reason for India’s obsession with fairness is still unclear, Hvovi claims it might have taken root during the British era when power or the lack of it seemed to be solely determined by the colour of one’s skin.

Featured in Mid-Day on May 25, 2010