A publication of the Centre for Advancing Journalism, University of Melbourne


‘Perfection’ is more than skin deep: Being brown, being beautiful

“Fair And Lovely” is a skin-whitening product that has been spruiked to Indian women for decades. So, if you’re not fair, you’re not lovely? Dilpreet Kaur, a dark-brown Indian girl, explores skin-deep stereotypes in our special audio series, Perfection.


Audio report by Dilpreet Kaur

“You have dark skin and a fat nose,” said the old woman to the 12-year-old girl growing up in Punjab. A decade later, that girl is still fighting the stereotype of being a woman of colour, and the hard-sold lack of privilege of not being white. Does she give in?

Eurocentric standards of beauty have changed how women of colour look at themselves. From skin whitening procedures or hair treatments to photo editing apps – there is a constant effort to look as less as themselves and as close to white as possible. Dilpreet Kaur stitches together incidents from her own life and shares this intimate story.

Audio journalism students from the Centre for Advancing Journalism worked with mentors from All The Best radio to create content for Science Gallery Melbourne’s show on Perfection.

About The Citizen

THE CITIZEN is a publication of the Centre for Advancing Journalism. It has several aims. Foremost, it is a teaching tool that showcases the work of the students in the University of Melbourne’s Master of Journalism and Master of International Journalism programs, giving them real-world experience in working for publication and to deadline. Find out more →

  • Editor: Jo Chandler
  • Reporter: Qiyun (Gwen) Liu
  • Audio & Video editor: Louisa Lim
  • Data editor: Craig Butt
  • Editor-In-Chief: Andrew Dodd
  • Business editor: Lucy Smy
Winner — BEST PUBLICATION 2016 Ossie Awards