In an industry obsessed with the fair skin, it takes courage to call out some of its biggest stars for endorsing fairness creams.
In a series of Facebook posts, Bollywood actor Abhay Deol ribbed the likes of Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor, Vidya Balan and John Abraham for featuring in ad campaigns that sell fairness creams and other such products. He specifically chose campaigns that, subtly or blatantly, tried to sell the idea that being dark was not beautiful.
"No one at the top of their game in any field is going to tell you that it is demeaning, false, and racist. You have to see that for yourself, Deol wrote in a Facebook post.
"You have to stop buying into the idea that a particular shade is better than others. Unfortunately, if you look at matrimonial ads you will see how entrenched in our psyche this belief is. We even use the word 'dusk' to describe the color of someone's skin," he added.
He further suggested that "while an individual may not be able to change this attitude in his/her community, he/she can at least start with the family."
Deol began the series by taking a dig at the country’s obsession with colour saying that "we aren't a racist country and I'll prove it to you" and backed it with a series of posts.
Then he went on to call out his colleagues in the industry. John's 'intensive fairness moisturiser', Ileana's 'white beauty', Vidya's 'radiant fairness', Shahid's 'face transformation', Deepika's '2-in-1- fairness cream, Sidharth's 'fair and lovely', Sonam's 'visibly fair skin', Latina's 'own skin deal' and Shah Rukh Khan's 'men-specific fairness cream' - all made it to Deol's list.
The final target clearly was against BJP leader Tarun Vijay who was recently quoted as saying Indians are not racist because they live alongside south Indians who are “black”. Deol cited the ‘Black is Beautiful’ campaign by Das and quipped: "Silly Nanadita trying to teach us that Black is also beautiful. Doesn't she know that we already know that? Why else would we be so accepting of people from the south*?(sic)