Down With Skin Whitening Creams

July 26, 2013 7:38 am

Last Sunday, Shah Rukh Khan gave all those who care about star rivalries much relief by making up with Salman Khan. Now if only he would do things that really matter, like deciding to stop endorsing fairness creams. A campaign called Dark Is Beautiful is petitioning Khan and Emami, the makers of Fair and Handsome cream for men, to stop running ads for the product. The latest Fair and Handsome ad (see video, above) has Khan telling viewers that he became a superstar because he wanted more out of life — more respect, more money, more fans. And the one item that helped him become the badshah of Bollywood is Fair and Handsome, which has the talismanic ability to make your dreams come true and give your skin more protection from the sun, more “oil control” and more “sweat control”. While walking up the red carpet, Khan tosses a fan a tube of Fair and Handsome.

The petitioners object to the ad’s suggestion that fair skin is a ticket to success. People tend to emulate film actors when it comes to trends in style and beauty, which is why it’s disturbing to have a star as popular as Khan perpetuate the bias for fair skin. He’s not the only one. Actors such as John Abraham, Anushka Sharma, Arjun Rampal, Asin, Katrina Kaif, Shahid Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor and Deepika Padukone have endorsed whitening products from various brands. The Dark Is Beautiful campaign has however found support in Nandita Das, who is often described as one of Hindi cinema’s “dusky” beauties. To sign the petition, see here.