Fairness creams, India and Racism: Abhay Deol may have ruffled a lot of feathers

Abhay Deol

The most persistently gnawing problem with India has been our infatuation with fair skin, and the fact that we do indulge in racism, as casually as insulting our friends, not even thinking about it for a passing second, let alone regret it. Abhay Deol was having none of it.

After the recent furore that was ignited across social media, when a mob attacked and beat up a Nigerian student simply because of the ill conceived notion that ‘Africans are drug dealers’. If this was considered to be stereotype fueled hatred and violence, BJP leader Tarun Vijay shone light upon how racist most of us actually are, ironically whilst trying to justify that Indians aren’t racist.

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The outrage and the memory of this incident may have faded, but the wounds inflicted upon the poor student, physical and mental, may never heal, neither would the barbs inflicted by fairness creams and face wash advertisements several times a day. It only reinforces the Indian fixation with being ‘fair and lovely’.

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Which brings us to the topic of discussion, “Should celebrities continue to endorse fairness creams and products, making so many of their fans feel like they are ‘not attractive enough until they are white enough’?

Abhay Deol did the unthinkable in a world where rubbing off fellow celebrities the wrong way is a huge no-no, when he called out numerous fellow actors and actresses for endorsing such products, absolutely reinstating the confidence of millions of people who just aren’t ‘fair enough’ for our society.

One by one, Abhay Deol called out celebrities such as Sonam Kapoor, Shah Rukh Khan, Ileana D’Cruz, John Abraham, Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapur, Vidya Balan and many more.

It’s not that something like this has never been said before, but never by a celebrity, who with his/her words could reassure so many people that there is absolutely nothing wrong with the color of their skin. Instead, celebrities are out there telling their fans that they are too dark, girls won’t find you attractive until you are fair, no man will want to marry you if you are dusky, and a lot of other downright disgusting advertisements that somehow continue to inhabit our television and computer screens.

When will this end? We don’t know. All we can do now, is throw our full support behind Abhay Deol’s voice, and not let this cause die down this time around.

A little more of this please!

Let’s not let fairness creams destroy people’s confidence and sense of self worth based on the colour of their skin. Kudos Abhay Deol.


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