Esha Gupta is a woman of substance. She doesn’t shy away from calling a spade a spade and so, recently, while speaking to a leading daily, she brought out the topic of India’s obsession with fair skin and as to why she doesn’t promote them.
She said, “I am proud of the way I look. In Europe, brown skin is celebrated. In India, I have to face discrimination for my complexion. I am considered kaali and there are people who refer to my skin colour as kaala. It’s sheer hypocrisy. I am made to feel bad about the way I look when 90 percent girls in India look like me. They have the same skin tone as mine, dark brown eyes and are voluptuous. There are very few women who have a light skin colour. There is a reason I spoke openly about not wanting to endorse a fairness brand. I am okay with the fact that a cream can make me look bright but I cannot endorse something which talks about lightening my skin tone.”
The brand reportedly was about to go drag her to the court. Talking about it, Esha said, “I was ready to take them on. However, it didn’t reach that stage since the brand would have been affected more than me. Commercials show how fair skin helps a girl get a job, get married and also depict her gaining the confidence to conquer the world. As a society, we have perpetuated stereotypes associated with fair skin. Internationally, Rihanna and Beyoncé are celebrated. In our country, a girl with my complexion will be offered hot and sexy characters, and the gori chitti girl will be cast as the seedhi sadhi ladki. Are they trying to say that brown-skinned girls can’t be seedhi sadhi? And why just skin colour? We’re also judged by what we wear. If I wear a salwar kameez, you will call me a behenji and if I wear a short skirt, you will call me a whore.”
Gupta ended by saying, “Why is it that my attire affects you so much?”