Nawazuddin Siddiqui: Celebs endorsing fairness creams should be ashamed of themselves

Hindustan Times | By
Aug 29, 2017 06:09 PM IST

The Babumoshai Bandookbaaz actor, whose tweet highlighted Bollywood’s skin colour bias, says that he’ll be gratified if even one person gains confidence from his stance against the fairness obsession.

Actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui, who recently spoke of facing bias in Bollywood over his appearance, specifically his dark complexion, has taken a dig at celebrities endorsing fairness creams.

Actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui talks about the skin colour bias.
Actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui talks about the skin colour bias.

“So much of fairness cream is consumed in our society, and it’s being promoted by well-off, responsible, and knowledgeable people. I think unko sharm aani chahiye (they should be ashamed of themselves),” says Nawazuddin, whose latest film, Babumoshai Bandookbaaz, released recently.

He adds, “You’re promoting fairness creams in a country where 90% of the people are brown-skinned. You’re giving them an inferiority complex; they’re unable to feel confident about themselves. Aap logon ko batana chah rahe hai ki, ‘Aapka colour theek nahi hai’ (You want to tell people, ‘Your skin colour is not right’)?”

The actor’s tweet addressing the skin colour bias in Bollywood had brought the issue into the limelight. It had apparently been said about Nawazuddin that some top female actors couldn’t be cast opposite him, because of how he looked.

Nawazuddin recalls that he faced disparaging statements from the time he expressed his desire to be an actor. “When I told people about my intention to become an actor, they said, ‘Look at your face.’ Maybe we have a certain kind of colonial pressure on us that makes us behave this way. When we look at foreigners with fair skin, we automatically think they’re rich and beautiful, but when we go to some other country, they think that our skin colour is beautiful,” says the actor.

Bollywood celebs who have endorsed fairness products

Shah Rukh Khan

Priyanka Chopra

Deepika Padukone

Vidya Balan

Shahid Kapoor

Sonam Kapoor

Sidharth Malhotra

Yami Gautam

Ever since Nawazuddin brought up this issue, he has been flooded with response from people who have faced a similar problem. The actor feels that his stance could help people be more confident. “A lot of people are troubled because of this [fairness] issue, and I thought it’s important for me to bring it up. If my words and stance can help even one person gain confidence, then I think I’ve been successful,” says the actor.

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    Yashika Mathur writes on Bollywood and television, for the daily Entertainment & Lifestyle supplement, HT City.

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