Priyanka Chopra, who was on her way to the Toronto International Film Festival, spoke recently about what it felt to endorse a fairness cream back home in India. The actress has talked about the terrible obsession with fairness in India, this time she touched upon when she inadvertently ended up endorsing a fairness product. When Priyanka did an ad for this particular brand and later saw it on TV, it made her feel like crap. She said it reminded her of what she felt like when she was a little girl. The ‘Quantico’ actress expressed immediate regret by realizing this is what she felt like when she commercials for fairness products in her younger days. She stated that she immediately got out of the contract and never did it again. It took her seeing herself advocating the thing that made her teenage years miserable because it was normal and everyone did it. She understood the effect that a product like this has when she did the ad. The former beauty queen said that creams for glowing skin are different, but the concept of ‘whitening creams’ is baffling to her.
Abhay Deol’s tirade against Bollywood celebrities endorsing fairness creams sparked off a debate across the country, whether these products propagate the notion of superiority based on a person’s skin color. Abhay’s posts on Facebook highlighted that a number of Bollywood superstars endorse fairness products in one way or another. His posts received support from his fans, the general public alike, and now they have generated reactions from some of the targeted celebrities.
‘Kaabil’ actress Yami Gautam is a regular on TV screens with her fairness cream endorsements. She recently reacted to the entire debate saying that she will not choose her endorsements based on someone else’s ideology and that she has her own mind to make her decisions. She also revealed that she has asked the brand to revamp their marketing strategy where they don’t demean people with darker complexions. Yami reiterated that she has taken the debate in a positive spirit, as it has pushed brands to re-think their advertising message.
Kangana Ranaut had reportedly rejected an offer from a fairness brand even though she was allegedly offered Rs 2 crore. Stating the reason for turning down the offer, she said, “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.”
Jacqueline Fernandez, who featured in a skin whitening cream advertisement last year, said that she limits her opinion to the view that discrimination on the basis of color is unjustified and that as a star, she will always stand against it. At an event, she also spoke about the responsibility that celebrities hold for their popularity. She added that she was against discrimination of any kind and that she does not want this generation grew up in a society where people are judged on the basis of their color.
Saif Ali Khan
Saif Ali Khan has also endorsed a few fairness products. The ‘Rangoon’ actor offered his take on the entire debate saying that he assumed everyone who endorses such products, knows that it is wrong and that they must have wished they had taken a stand against endorsing it. However, he admitted that if they wouldn’t sell it, someone else would. He demanded that a law prohibiting the sale of such products should be implemented.