From Kangana Ranaut to Mahira Khan: South-Asian stars who refused to endorse fairness products
South-Asians are obsessed with fairness and the subcontinent serves as a major market for beauty products. Many big celebrities have over the years endorsed fairness brands which indirectly promote racism based on skin colour.
Following the recent debate around the world of supporting #BlackLivesMatter protest, several Bollywood stars have been called out for their hypocritcal stand.
But not all actor have endorsed fairness creams. Several stars have clearly refused to promote any fairness product as it promotes a false notion of beauty. Here, take a look.
Kangana Ranaut refused to endorse a fairness cream back in 2013. The 'Manikarnika' actress refused Rs 2 crore deal. ''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 in an interview.
Since the beginning of his career, Ranbir Kapoor has been the first choice for many brands. But just like his movies, the actor is said to be quite selective about the brands he endorses. The 'Sanju' actor had once refused to endorse a fairness cream saying that such products support racism and will only give more power to existing racist stereotypes.
Randeep Hooda had once turned down an offer to endorse a
fairness cream for men. Known for his well-toned body and rugged looks, Randeep Hooda said that he does not understand or endorse the obsession with fairness. He also said that beauty is not all about fair skin.
Sushant Singh Rajput
Sushant Singh Rajput refused to endorse a fairness advertisement deal worth Rs 15 crore as he thought it was his duty as an actor to not promote incorrect messages.
A special court in Mumbai reserved its order on a bail plea on Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan. Reacting to the news, actor Swara Bhasker took to Twitter and wrote, “#AryanKhan #AryanKhanBail Pure harassment!”
Anushka Sharma declared that she would never promote a fairness product, "I would not endorse products that propagate racist and sexiest and propagate social taboo. I don't want to endorse products that propagate fair skin and all. I will not propagate anything that says this is right or wrong," Sharma said.
Kalki Koechlin once said that she would never endorse a fairness brand, ''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''.
South actress Sai Pallavi confirmed that she rejected a Rs 2 crore advertisement deal with a fairness cream brand a few years back. Commenting about it, she had said, "This is Indian colour. We can't go to foreigners and ask them why they're white, and if they know that they will get cancer because of it. We can't look at them and think we want that. That's their skin colour and this is ours. Africans have their own colour too and they are beautiful."
Abhay Deol has in the past refused to endorse a fairness cream brand. The actor has also criticized actors on his social media who promote such products while they all protest against racism in the West and support #BlackLivesMatter movement.
A few days back, when journalist Haroon Rashid asked on Twitter on which south-Asian celebrities have never endorsed a fairness brand, Pakistani actress Mahira Khan was one of the first stars to respond to the question. ''Been refusing since I was a VJ till now. Never endorsed a skin lightening product'', she wrote on her twitter handle.
Singer Momina Mustehsan also tweeted in response to Mahira Khan's statement as she revealed that had refused such offers as well, ''Same here! Always turned down all fairness product endorsements. The amount of melanin in your skin has nothing to do with how beautiful you are. If we all responsibly refuse whitening endorsements, it might cause a shift in the market. We have the power to change the narrative,'' said Mustehsan.
'Zindagi Gulzar Hai' actress Sanam Saeed also came forward to respond to the Rashid's tweet and said she has never promoted fairness product.
Ayesha Omar also shared her statement by retweeting the Haroon Rashid's tweet and wrote, "Me! I have been refusing offers to endorse various skin whitening products since 12 years. Have a very strong stance against it'', she tweeted.