Products used for "skin lightening", "whiteness" and "fairness" have been associated with the concept of beauty for a long time, too long. With the current global situation and tentative environment in society, a new cosmetic question has come to play, about whether or not such products and unhealthy "beauty standards" have been endorsed by celebrities.
When the question was posed by Haroon Rashid on twitter, inquiring which celebrities in Bollywood or Pakistan have not endorsed skin whitening products or creams, a few of our leading ladies spoke up! Ayesha Omar, known for her radiant glow and "comfortable in your own skin" mindset, stated immediately how for over a decade she has been strictly against the advertising and commercial endorsement of fairness products. Beauty is not about fairness, that does not define beauty, and racism is real however "subtle" it may seem.
Renowned actor, Ushna Shah, spoke out about being a '#brownskingirl' all the way, even disclosing that early on in her contract it was clearly written that no whitening or "brightening" would be promoted, instead being proud of the skin you are born in and staying true to that is emphasised.
Similarly, celebrities such as Mahira Khan and Momina Mustehsan have shared their views on the matter being discussed, both refusing the concept or ideology of endorsing and promoting such a mindset through products. It's encouraging seeing significant voices being heard and celebrities using their platform(s) to dissect such ambiguous yet necessary topics which are not openly talked about here. Now, with movements going on abroad and a general openness on social media, people are able to freely discuss their own perspectives and present their opinions directly without discretion.
Like Momina Mustehsan said, melanin has nothing to do with any individual's beauty. Artists alike seem to share this view on their social media platforms. Local art and design pages such as 'Daft Draft' created a twist, making a bold statement on the skin-whitening franchise and the discrimination in society.
'Digink' is another art and illustration page which is locally based, sharing their opinion on the current discussion about the endorsement of skin-lightening and brightening products, making their opinion quite clear with serious elements orchestrating a very important message.
With the use of social media and platforms which reach the masses it is inspiring to see celebrities and artists alike speaking about important matters such as skin; feeling beautiful in your own skin, and promoting a healthy mindset as opposed to not even having a conversation about such topics. Now that the "new normal" has set in, or still is slowly but surely, contemporary and past issues alike are coming to light and being discussed in detail.
Racism is real, a global issue which cannot be ignored or silenced any longer, as we can see how tolerating it is completely unacceptable. The scales have finally tipped.
The colour of one's skin does not define who they are or how beautiful, instead being comfortable in one's own skin is what more products which have a reach should ideally endorse, a change of mindset which some members of our media fraternity are already articulating brilliantly.