Very recently, there have been racist and xenophobic attacks on African students in Noida and one of the Indian Parliament members Traun Vijay, made some insensitive remarks which stirred some extreme drama on social media. Twitter went in full rage and condemned the harsh statements made due to racism. It was Abhay Deol, who started posting on his Facebook page regarding several celebrities that had endorsed fairness creams in the past and how it was completely an unfair element to be promoted within the society. Urging the stars to hold an influence on the people to make a difference, not promote racist ideas such as only fair skin is beautiful and admirable. Previously, it was Nandita Das who carried out the cause of ‘Dark is Beautiful’. There were various other celebrities that refused to endorse fairness products.
Back in 2011, ‘Tamasha’ hero Ranbir Kapoor had refused to be associated with any kind of fairness creams as he expressed that he believed that these products only highlights racist stereotypes. He further revealed that racism is only made stronger than ever in Indian mindset through such products.
‘Queen’ starlet Kangana Ranaut turned down a lucrative offer from a company that offered her Rs. 2 crore for endorsing fairness creams but she denied it. “Ever since I was a kid, I have never understood the concept of fairness. Especially, in such a case, as a celebrity, what kind of an example would I be setting for younger people? I have no regrets about turning this offer down. As a public figure, I have responsibilities,” she said bluntly.
‘Anaarkali of Aarah’ actress Swara Bhaskar had been approached for endorsing a skin lightening product in 2015. She declined the deal even though it offered to pay her good money. “This fair skin obsession has to be discouraged. It’s so regressive and problematic to put a value, negative or positive to skin colour. It’s actually the seeds of racism and it only promotes low self-esteem. For me, I believe in loving yourself just the way you are. Dusky, dark or wheatish, you are perfect, all I want to tell the girls is don’t change,” she stated. We second her, girls need to believe they are perfect and embrace their natural beauty.
The best part about having fame is that one can use it to not only be the centre of attention but also to inspire people. These celebrities have that kind of an impact and most of them make sure they use it wisely. ‘Sarbjit’ hero Randeep Hooda announced that he doesn’t understand the obsession that people have with fairness and that men should be tall, dark and handsome. He added that the whole ideology of ‘beauty being defined with fair skin’ is absolutely discriminatory and even if he’s offered a huge amount, he won’t support it.
Last but not the least, Kalki Koechlin found herself under the spotlight at the International Women’s Day, where she expressed her feelings towards fairness creams. “I don’t think there is anything wrong with being fair, but it has become such an obsession in our country that it is all we look for in beauty. There are so many stunning people who are dark-skinned and it should be celebrated. I would love to have a product that makes me darker.” She further added, “I endorse an anti-ageing cream because I do feel I have to take better care of my skin with age, but I am clear that fairness is not something I promote with them. In fact, I would love to endorse a cream which makes me darker, I am always trying to get a tan,” she revealed.