Being dusky wasn’t even a topic of conversation in my family, says Apeksha Porwal

Indians are obsessed with fairness. If you are not fair, you are looked down upon. Pregnant women are even asked to have things like saffron milk or oranges, so that they have a fair child. It is still a big topic of discussion in the majority of the households. But Miss Diva 2017 runner-up, Apeksha Porwal says she is lucky that being dusky was never an issue to be talked about at her home.

“I am a dusky girl myself and have always been proud of it. I was privileged to be born in a family where being dusky wasn’t even a topic of conversation. It was the most natural thing ever and my upbringing made me own it. But I look around myself and not everyone has that privilege,” she said.

“I’ve seen girls apply layers of powder to look fairer because they just didn’t feel good enough. I’ve seen parents lament at the birth of a dark daughter because that would mean they’d have to give more dowry, another abominable practice,” she added.

In the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement, following the death of George Floyd in the USA, a huge debate about skin colour started doing rounds worldwide. Cosmetic companies, too, received a lot of backlash for promoting a certain skin tone or colour. As a result of that, Hindustan Unilever recently announced that it will remove the word “fair” from its popular product “Fair & Lovely”.

Sharing her opinion on the same, the “Undekhi” actor said, “I think it’s an absolutely great move on Hindustan Unilever’s part to drop the usage of the word ‘fair’ and link success to it in its communication. I definitely hope that other similar brands quickly follow suit. This change is long due, but definitely better late than never.”

“It is finally good to see this move because branding has a deep subconscious influence on consumers. The obsession with fairness is so entrenched in our brains, that I hope we make an effort every single day to make everyone around us feel beautiful, whether fair or dark or white or black, until we completely stamp this discrimination out,” Apeksha signed off.

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