chapter  III
Globalization, Indian Beauty Nationalism, and Colorism
Class, Caste, and Gender Stratification
Pages 21

This chapter begins with a historical context of contemporary India, and then explores the ways in which globalization has exacerbated the inequalities of gender, class, and caste by constructing new ideals of Indian middle-class feminine identity, producing stratification based on class, consumerism, colorism, and global mobility. It also examines the media colorism as a result of globalization of beauty, and the systematic caste discrimination institutionalized by the dominant upper-caste Brahmin communities and its impact on gender, class, and colorism. India and Venezuela have the highest number of Miss World winners in recent years and, as a result, Indian and Venezuelan women's beauty has been validated by global Eurocentric beauty standards. The Indian state and media and business elite routinely use beauty queens' success at international beauty pageants to reaffirm free-market ideology and Indian nationalism, and to reaffirm the ideal Indian identity as globally mobile, transnationally connected, English-speaking, and cosmopolitan.