Suhana Khan
Suhana Khan Image Credit: Instagram

Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s daughter and aspiring actress Suhana Khan has hit back at people who posted negative comments about her skin colour.

India is notorious for equating beauty with fair skin, and lightening creams enjoy robust sales in that market. With her socially-charged post, Khan joins the likes of Sridevi and Boney Kapoor’s daughter Khushi Kapoor who slammed body shamers on her Instagram account, and actress Alaya Furniturewala who reminded people that she’s more than her sum of body parts when many posted spiteful comments about her looks on a news site.

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“I’ve been told I’m ugly because of my skin tone, by full grown men and women, since I was 12 years old,” Khan, 20, wrote. “Other than the fact that these are actual adults, what’s sad is that we are all Indian, which automatically makes us brown — yes we come in different shades but no matter how much you try to distance yourself from the melanin, you just can’t.”

She also gave her haters a masterclass on how toxic social media can get. “Hating on your own people just means that you are painfully insecure, I’m sorry if social media, Indian matchmaking or even your own families have convinced you, that if you’re not 5’7 and fair you’re not beautiful. I hope it helps to know that I’m 5’3 and brown and I am extremely happy about it and you should be too. #endcolourism,” said Khan.

While she’s often criticised for being privileged and sheltered as the daughter of a Bollywood superstar, it’s one of the first few times that Khan has decided to go public with the hate she has been receiving. Bollywood has been rocked by scandals, deaths and controversies this summer. Khan claims she’s aware of all that surround noise, but would still like to bring the attention to his burning issue.

“There’s a lot going on right now and this is one of the issues we need to fix!! this isn’t just about me, it’s about every young girl/boy who has grown up feeling inferior for absolutely no reason. Here are just a few of the comments made about my appearance,” said Khan posting a string of images showing vitriolic messages posted about her appearance.

In 2016, Amitabh Bachchan’s daughter Shweta Bachchan had written an open letter in Indian news daily DNA about the body shaming her daughter Navya Naveli faced for wearing a bikini.

“It’s the worst kind of bullying, simply because it leaves a lasting impact, She also spoke about the emotional scars that are left behind by all those who face such cyber bullying on a daily basis,” Shweta Bachchan wrote. “I ring her phone, she picks up, stifling her tears, I can feel her pain and my heart breaks a little more… I tell her this isn’t going to be the last time someone will be hurtful to her, but she cannot let the world define who she is.”