You don’t need to spend a lot of money on fairness creams. Actor Amna Ilyas has the perfect fix: flour. Just add one cup to a dish and dip your face.
Amna very helpfully even demonstrated how one can get the ‘whiter’ look. “Mera gora bannay ka sapna sach hua… Happy birthday to me!” she posted on Instagram on October 11, her special day.
It seems that extreme sarcasm is the only way to drive home the point that success doesn’t depend on skin tone.
This is not the first time the Zinda Bhaag actor has been vocal about her opinion on fairness advertisements that promote these ideas of beauty. “I did an advertisement for a fairness cream, but I decided that is not who I am and I wasn’t comfortable doing it,” she told BBC Urdu last year. She was honest about using beauty creams in the past, but has now realised it wasn’t okay.
She called out fellow celebrities who have been endorsing fairness products. “My fellow colleagues in the industry, time for promoting fairness creams for the sake of money and greed has long passed,” she tweeted. “Our influence as public figures is meant to make others feel beautiful, not less beautiful. Shame on everyone who still subscribes to this way of thinking!”
In Pakistan, many celebrities have endorsed fairness products, including Mawra Hocane, Sajal Aly and recently Zara Noor Abbas.
Brands that promote white skin tone as the only acceptable skin colour have faced criticism across the world. The criticism grew larger after the killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old man who was “tortured to death” by a white police officer in Minneapolis.
In June, Unilever Pakistan announced that it is removing the word ‘fair’ from its flagship beauty brand ‘Fair and Lovely’ and is rebranding it. “We have moved the brand communication away from fairness towards glow which is a more holistic and inclusive measure of healthy skin,” Unilever Pakistan CEO Amir Paracha said. In India, the brand name has already been changed into Glow and Lovely.
In June, Johnson & Johnson discontinued Neutrogena Fine Fairness, sold in Asia and the Middle East; and Clean & Clear’s Clear Fairness, sold in India. “Conversations over the past few weeks highlighted that some product names or claims on our dark spot reducer products represent fairness or white as better than your own unique skin tone,” the company’s statement said.