Colourism has been a issue in India for a long time but this Bollywood celebrity had enough and she chose to spread the message online through a video.
With fairness creams and bleaching products regularly advertised and sold around the country, the want to look lighter is evident amongst all groups. However, Indian actor and director Nandita Das has had enough with the discrimination people face due to the colour of their skin.
She recently released a quirky music video that aims to celebrate all skin tones and started the hashtag #IndiasGotColour. The clip that is over 2 minutes long and shared on Das's Instagram page, nanditadasofficial, takes on the subject in a humorous way.
It highlights conventional beauty standards of the country and how they are dictated by the fashion and film industry.
It is aimed at the youth of India and also tackles how people form the older generations sometimes reinforce such beauty ideals.
The video features rap lyrics and includes various skits to highlight how skewed beauty standards are part of people’s daily lives in India.
From fairer girls getting more marriage proposals to light-skinned people getting more breaks in the entertainment industry, the video features a number of scenarios.
Various Indian celebrities make an appearance in the clip, including Radhika Apte, Ratna Pathak Shah, Suchitra Pillai and Swara Bhaskar.
The video was released on Wednesday, September 25, to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Woman of Worth, a NGO Das is known to work with.
Sharing the video, Das wrote on her Instagram: "India's Got Colour. A fun music video that we made to celebrate the diversity of skin colour in India! After all, we are 1.3 billion people, and that many shades of skin tones!”
She later posted a version with subtitles as well.
As the clip was posted, the hashtag started being used by netizens and they appreciated Das’s efforts in spreading awareness around colourism.
Bollywood actress, Dia Mirza, @deespeak, took to Twitter and wrote: “'India's Got Colour'. Time to celebrate diversity - 1.3 billion people, and that many shades of skin tones! What a powerhouse of talent and what an important message conveyed. @nanditadas #IndiasGotColour Share this widely.”
Tweep @maahiji007 posted: “In India there is no difference all are equal... Each colour deserve to be adored not ignored #IndiasGotColour”
User @iamAanshi tweeted: “Feeling proud that little but effective measure are being taken to eradicate color discrimination. #IndiasGotColour Kudos to @nanditadas.”
However, some had issues with why Bollywood celebrities have been known to promote such beauty ideals in the first place.
Twitter user @DrSunilKhatik shared images of Bollywood actors in fairness creams ads and wrote: “Commendable message through excellent video. But Bollywood actors have also contributed to increase this apartheid. Rather it became a medium for them to earn money. #indiasgotcolour”