We’re living in a world that is becoming more socially aware day-by-day and thus, actors are becoming more and more responsible for their career choices. This applies especially to the brands they choose to endorse.
Not looking too far, our neighbours in the east too, have taken up the social responsibility and refused to endorse fairness creams; socially aware and responsible actors in India are promoting the ‘dark is beautiful’ agenda. From Nandita Das to Nawazuddin Siddiqui and even Kangana Ranaut, all have spoken out against the dark skin bias. While Kangana has refused to endorse a fairness cream brand, Abhay Deol went as far as to name and shame renown Bollywood personalities for endorsing fairness products
This is not just in accordance with skin products, but also more about social awareness. Cricketer Virat Kohli turned down a contract with a big soft drink brand recently saying, “Things that I’ve endorsed in the past, I won’t take names, but it’s something that I feel that I don’t connect to anymore. If I myself won’t consume such things, I won’t urge others to consume it just because I’m getting money out of it.”
So when one of our biggest TV stars, with an unmatchable social media following, decided to endorse a Fair and Lovely product, was it fair to question her? Well, we did.
“I’m endorsing the BB cream which gives you flawless skin, which is what everybody wants,” Mawra told us, implying that fairness was not the agenda of the product. However, the packaging of the product itself says that the cream is for an ‘instant fair look’, so we’re not too convinced.
“Even if I was endorsing Fair & Lovely, I personally think everybody has a right to self-determination…everybody deserves a choice, let’s say a dark girl wants to be fair, you cannot stop her,” Mawra justified. However, the picture Fair & Lovely portrays is that a dark skinned girl needs to be fair to get a job, or a suitable marriage proposal or to just look presentable. The TVCs don’t show choice, they show how a dark girl is subject to unfair treatment, and the solution is to make yourself fairer, instead of being comfortable in your own skin.
Sure, girls should be allowed to change their look as they please, but the problem behind any ‘skin whitening’ campaign is much deeper and graver than that. Our society consistently downgrades dark skinned people, from marriage and rishtas to becoming a model or an actor, everything is double the task. So when this is the case and a public figure like Mawra – who young girls follow and idolize blindly – chooses to be associated with a skin whitening brand, it doesn’t send out progressive signals. We also understand that the brand is constantly advocating its true purpose of being a beauty balm, a sun block, and protector. Well, in that case, we strongly suggest it change its name and remodel itself. We do find Mawra Hocane very lovely but it has nothing to do with her being fair.