The not so 'fair' stars of Bollywood

Jul 19, 2013, 08:35 IST | Sonali Joshi Pitale

With more and more Bollywood celebs choosing to endorse fairness creams, is the industry giving in to social stereotypes based on skin colour?

With a spate of actresses from over the decades featuring in fairness cream advertisements, Bollywood actors too are not behind. From Shah Rukh Khan to John Abraham, they have all told the world how the magic potion that is called a fairness cream has worked wonders on their overall look and personality.

Fairer the actor/actress, brighter the chance of bagging an endorsement deal for a fairness product. But the ultimate question that arises from it is is it fair to keep the audience in the dark? After all, some of the greatest beauties of our country (read Smita Patil) have been known for their olive skin tones.

Men-tal block?
Joining the ranks of Bollywood brigade endorsing fairness creams is allegedly Sushant Singh Rajput. The actor, who rose to fame with his acting chops in Kai Po Che and his TV show, has apparently already signed the dotted lines for his new ad. Insiders say after Ayushmann Khurrana demanded a whopping fee to endorse the same product, Sushant came on board.

Sushant Singh Rajput

He apparently charged only Rs 2 crore for it. Other male actors like SRK, John Abraham and Shahid Kapoor too have fallen victims to the social stereotype. A Juhu birdie chirps, “It’s uncanny but their wives and then-girlfriends have all been of dusky complexion.” Perhaps the only actor to have refused to support a fairness product is Ranbir Kapoor.

The ‘fairer’ sex
Incidentally, fair, wheatish or dusky, B-Town girls seem to be unanimously in favour of endorsing fairness creams. From Deepika Padukone to Katrina Kaif to Priyanka Chopra to Sonakshi Sinha to Anushka Sharma to Yaami Gautam, they have all been there and done that. Yaami, who is currently the face of a fairness product, however states that the brand chose her not because of her ‘fair’ skin colour but because of her personality. She states, “I signed this brand when I was a model.

Yaami Gautam

I think people are smart enough to decide whether the product suits them instead of blindly following my ad. Small town girls are smart enough to differentiate between what works and what doesn’t. I am a regular Indian girl and I don’t think dark-skinned people should be looked down upon. Plus it is not harmful to the health.” Meanwhile, Chitrangada Singh, one of the duskier actresses in B-Town recently said no to an endorsement offer for a fairness product.

Model speak
Model-turned-actress Dipannita Sharma too was offered fairness cream deals in the past. Proud of her dusky skin, Dipannita says it’s absolutely unethical of light-skinned celebs to weave tales about the effectiveness of fairness creams. She says, “I am from the north-east where discrimination based on skin colour is rarely heard of.

Dipannita Sharma

If you are healthy and take proper care of your skin, it shows on your face. Fairness products be damned!” While Dipannita says rumours about dark models losing out on plum projects because of their skin colour are rampant in the fashion industry, she feels Bollywood folk should pave the way for bringing about a positive change. 

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