Back in India, beauty is often related to fair skin. Much more in past years, those with dark complexion were considered 'ugly', and those of fair complexion, 'beautiful'. The cosmetic industry thrives (and therefore endorses) this biased conception of beauty. However there has been a greater consciousness and awareness today, but the actuality is not far from those days. I've personally come across several people trying to 'improve' their skin tone. Even among confreres there are persons who are yet to reconcile themselves with their dark complexion - some seeking extra medical intervention, over and above the cosmetic!
Here in Europe people seek a 'tan'. Being fair skinned, summer is the time most people look forward to - all to spend a holiday on the beach!! People travel all the way to Spain and Italy to lie on the beaches and come back to show off their suntan! Even in this there is the cosmetic world cashing on this craze. So there are creams and lotions to help bear the sun burn, gain a longer tan, protect the skin... Though a bit more broad minded about the notion of 'beauty', the West too has its idiosyncrasies. Strange but true: those of dark skin want to become fair skinned and the fair skinned wish to have darker complexion!