Every woman needs to be comfortable in her own skin and not feel bad about her skin colour that she endeavors to change it. The quest for fair skin and the negative bias to dark skin happens right from birth and reaches its peak during the marriageable age. Girls are told that they will not get good husbands if they are dark or asked to try for various remedies to make their skin fair. It radically affects their self-esteem and is being perpetuated for generations.
Banjara’s, a natural cosmetic brand headquartered in Hyderabad and Mr. Krishna Mohan of INDIA/2- A Chennai based Advertising agency together initiated a campaign ‘Proud of My Color’ which aims to change the perception about the quest for fair skin and reinforce that beauty is beyond fair skin and that the focus of skin products should be on healthy skin and not skin lightening.
It’s a platform for women to exchange positive stories about their skin and how they have overcome the social bias towards the fair skin. They have also created a short film that focused on how most often the pressure to be “fairer” begins at home. The film captured the concerns and apprehensions that older family members have about skin colour, especially when it comes to their daughter’s marriage. The film has garnered more than 5 million views and continues to attract attention.
On the digital front, Proud of My Colour has built a community of over 2 Lakhs and has received support from celebrities like Padma Lakshmi, Actor & Writer; Renuka Shahane, Actor; Radhika Nair, Model; Nidhi Sunil, Model; Jane De Suza, Author etc.
Aparna Lakshmi of Banjara’s says,” Having been in the personal care industry for 15 years, it always baffles me that the definition of beauty in the context of skincare is very narrow. White skin/Fairness is the ‘Must have’ to look and feel beautiful. As a result, I felt that we should through this movement, encourage people to feel confident and comfortable in their natural skin colour. Every woman should feel good when they take care of their skin rather than feel defensive and negative and try desperate solutions.”
This campaign has influenced few other filmmakers to make their own version of film against colour bias. The campaign has spun off another idea asking girls to bin their fairness products. Few girls have already ‘bin their fairness product’ and taken oath that they will neither use nor support usage of any fairness products. A bride in Chennai refused to put makeup that will make her skin fair on her marriage day.
To spread the awareness further, the organization is looking towards exploring possibilities of various events and radio campaign.
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