India is a country where the majority of the population is dusky to dark skinned and still being dark is looked down upon. We as a country do our level best to demoralize people who do not have a 'fair' skin tone and then FMCG companies feed on these insecurities by providing them with so-called fairness creams! It's shameful in itself that we discriminate against people for things they have no control over, so much so that their self-confidence is completely mutilated.
These creams have become more popular than ever in the last 2 decades. Bollywood celebrities endorsing these creams has a lot to do with their accelerated use in the market. As it is these celebrities are treated as gods in this country, everyone wants to be like them and the cream companies take advantage of just that. However, nowadays celebrities are all for 'accepting the skin you're in' and it's honestly quite comforting to see.
Recently, in an interview with Vogue, Priyanka Chopra confessed that she regretted her decision to endorse a skin-lightening cream when she had just stepped into the industry in her early twenties.
While talking about her life in India, Priyanka told Vogue that she had a lot of self-esteem issues before she was 15 as she was really conscious of her skin colour. The confession naturally shocked the interview and she asked her again to confirm:
You were conscious of your skin colour here, or in India?
Because who would believe this for a country that naturally is supposed to have a dark skin tone.
To this PeeCee replied:
India, because there you’re prettier if you’re fairer.
She went ahead to clarify to the interviewer that her complexion is considered dusky here. When asked what feelings go with the label 'dusky', Priyanka's answer is as true as it can get:
A lot of girls with a darker skin hear things like, “Oh, poor thing, she’s dark.” In India they advertise skin-lightening creams: “Your skin’s gonna get lighter in a week.” I used it [when I was very young]. Then when I was an actor, around my early twenties, I did a commercial for a skin-lightening cream. I was playing that girl with insecurities. And when I saw it, I was like, “Oh shit. What did I do?” I started talking about being proud of the way I looked. I actually like my skin tone.
It's good to see that Priyanka realizes the greater impact she has as a celebrity and that she should encourage positive body image. The discrimination against dark skinned people is so severe that you have to have gone through it to understand it. Since these celebrities are considered role models, maybe Priyanka's message will go a long way to create a positive change.
This is the ad that Priyanka was a part of: