Pakistan is a country where talent really doesn’t mean anything if you’re not beautiful, and beautiful in Pakistan only caters to ONE colour and body type. People talk about eradicating this mindset but are never really successful. Organizing an “Aurat March” or celebrating “Women’s Day” is up-to no good really if women are still aspiring to become ‘Fairer’ in appearance – This is the 21st. century for crying out loud – WAKE UP and leave the Stone Age behind please!
We sit here wondering why our nation lags behind and that’s perhaps because we drill the concept of beauty = fair!
Don’t deny the fact that you too haven’t felt like an outsider because you might be a diﬀerent shape or colour. We all want to look fairer, taller or slimmer. Why is that? Why is “beauty comes in all shapes and sizes” just a quote. Why can’t we ‘walk the talk’?
Well let’s look at the why – it’s true that our country is under the inﬂuence of a gora complex, but the celebrities and inﬂuencers who play a big part in shaping the thoughts and aspirations of present & future generations aren’t really helping either. When an influencer chooses to endorse a fairness cream, he or she has chosen to tell her fan base that beautiful means fair! – enough said.
Sajal Has Been Disappointing Her Fans
The “Aangan” actress, is recently seen in a Fair & Lovely advertisement promoting the brand’s new product “HD glow”. In the advertisement, she recommends the product to a group of women. The young actress tells women that Fair & Lovely will not just give a glow, but it will give you an HD glow. The TVC catered to women who aspire to be beautiful by becoming fair. Though the HD glow doesn’t really talk about the word fairness, the brand itself is linked to fairness.
Sajal’s fans are obviously disappointed about this project:
@RohaDaud says: “Great so @iamsajalali,who I had great respect for decides to go and represent #Fairandlovely. When will we learn?”
Another fan, @HumeiraKazmi says: “Why are whitening cream and products still a THING?? What’s so bad about the brown skin that’s truly our own that we must emphatically disgrace it so?”
Did She Really Need To Endorse a Whitening Brand?
It’s infuriating to see celebrities who don’t realize their responsibility. There is a reason Sajal Aly has 3.1 million followers on Instagram. People look up to her. Her every move is being watched intently by her followers. She’s a role-model for many women out there. Even though, we agree that we shouldn’t be judging the brands she endorses, but a hugely popular actress who is looked up-to by young girls across the nation should be aware that big brands are sending a certain message about how women should look.
There are teenagers who are rooting for her and aim to look just like her. A dark-skinned teenager doesn’t need to watch her role model promoting fairness. The gora complex has reached its extreme to the point that young girls bleach their faces or visit dermatologists to avail treatments in order to appear more beautiful. Sajal could have chosen to endorse a product that believes in women, just like the strong role-models she depicts in her dramas.
Should We Cut Sajal Some Slack?
It’s true that Sajal is still a young actress and may be she just wanted to work with power brands, but let’s not forget that with great power comes great responsibility.
Social media is the fastest way to get a message across. How many of us have watched the movie “Gully Boy” and the slogan “brown is beautiful” was drilled in to our heads – It’s because the maker of such films recognize that such larger-than-life platforms reach millions of people, and they have the power to change the world.
Influencer is a very strong word, and whether she likes it or not, Sajal Aly IS an influencer, this is why a big brand approached her to endorse their product. The question is: how many of her 3.1 million followers will purchase a bottle of Fair & Lovely after they watch her commercial? And how many of them will be young women? Your guess is as good as mine!
This article is the collaboration effort of several members of Team FUCHSIA.