190108 Sara Ali Khan
Sara Ali Khan Image Credit: IANS

Bollywood actress Sara Ali Khan revealed her perceptions regarding the issue of colourism and the obsession with fair skin in India. During the ‘We the Women’ event in Bangalore, the actress was in conversation with journalist Barkha Dutt in a section titled ‘A Spark called Sara’.

When the Simmba actress was asked for her opinion on colourism in India and whether she was aware of this issue against women, Sara replied saying how it is a problem, though she personally does not face it.

The 24-year-old actress who marked her debut in Bollywood with the movie Kedarnath in 2018 said: “I am very acutely aware that a lot of women do and I feel very strongly for them. I recognise the fact that our society or our world can kind of constrict women and has this regressive view in which they see women.”

When a woman from the audience asked Sara Ali Khan whether she enjoys going to the beach to tan, Sara, the daughter of Indian actor Saif Ali Khan and Amrita Singh replied: “I love going to beaches and it has nothing to do with being tanned, but I love the beach. I wouldn’t necessarily think that. If you want to be tanned just put on some bronzer and if you want to be fair, put on some powder.”

“I think this whole chat about skin colour is really you know … if I want to put pink nail polish on I will. If I want to look darker I’ll just spray-paint myself.”

Host Barkha Dutt further asked her about the enormous pressure on women to have fair skin. Sara replied: “What is pressure? I think at the end of the day people won’t change. So, you should have that confidence to say, ‘say what you want this is how I am. People can say what they want but this is how I am.’”

The actress who has 15 million followers on Instagram added: “I believe there are a larger probability and higher success rate for you to attempt to change yourself than change the world. They are not going to change.”

Sara Ali Khan acknowledges the strain placed upon women to conform to the ideals set by society. Having fair skin does not connote to beauty.

Rather Sara believes you should disregard such perceptions and teach yourself to gain the courage to dismiss this belittling ideology.

India has a booming $450 million fairness cream industry, with Hindustan Unilever’s “Fair and Lovely” in the lead, owning more than 50% share of the market. According to research, the whitening cream market is expanding at a rate of nearly 18% a year, thanks to all the Bollywood stars involved in its endorsement.

Based on a survey published on their website, Vaseline Healthy White claims that “8 out of 10 women in India believe that fair skin gives them an additional advantage in the society“. The preconceived notion that a white skin tone is associated with racial superiority and financial power can be traced back to the 15th century BC, when the fair-skinned Aryans established a caste system which allowed them to become the aristocracy, which then diminished the local Dravidians to slavery.

Sara Ali Khan will be seen next in two movies slated for 2020, Coolie No.1 and Aaj Kal.