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Coffee Breaks With ISLM: Who Is The Fairest Of Them All?

Who’s the Fairest of them All?

ISLM Writer: Nivedita

Kangana Ranaut is making headlines again, thanks to her latest movie—Tanu Weds Manu Returns. However, this article is not about this movie. As soon as news of this movie being a nice entertainer broke out, a piece of news was circulated in leading dailies and all over social media, which made me sit up. I’m sure you all have read it by now. Still let me reveal it for you—Kangana apparently refused a fairness cream endorsement worth 2 crores.

Disclaimer:  Popular news site Huffingtonpost has noted that this is an old news dating back to 2013 and it’s widely re-circulated now by the media, to create buzz for her latest movie.
Whether it’s old or new, we won’t debate about it. Our point of discussion would be Kangana’s refusal and her explanation about it and the fairness obsession of Indians in general. When she was asked why she refused such an amazing offer, here’s what she said:
Ever since I was a kid, I have never understood the concept of fairness. Especially, in such a case, as a celebrity, what kind of example would I be setting for younger people? I have no regrets about turning this offer down. As a public figure, I have responsibilities. My sister (Rangoli Ranaut) is dusky, yet beautiful. If I go ahead and be a part of this campaign, then, in a way, I would be insulting her. If I can’t do that to my sister, then how can I do it to an entire nation?
This news gladdened me for many reasons.

First, it’s a brilliant example set by Kangana Ranaut, that should motivate many Indian girls and women to think beyond ‘fairness’. Her refusal is a welcome change, and a much needed one at that.
I know that the general opinion about fairness will not change overnight, but it’s good to see known faces resisting such dogmas, thereby suggesting that duskiness is not a curse; it is a blessing, and a nice thing to celebrate as well. I truly hope Kangana’s refusal and her statements about this endorsement, enable women to re-think the ‘fairness’ concept and not feel bogged down, just because they lack a light skin tone.

Secondly, I’m hoping that women learn to accept the fact that complexion, height and any other physical manifestation is a ‘good to have’ aspect of a woman’s personality. It does not define her personality. In fact, true beauty lies in our mind, beliefs, manners, values, skills, and certain other innate qualities and these are ‘must have’. A good example is the beautiful Smita Patil. And we still remember Indira Gandhi for her acute political acumen and sharpness, don’t we? I don’t remember anyone talking about either Smita Patil’s dusky complexion, or Indira Gandhi’s foray into the erstwhile male bastion. Truly speaking, all women are equally blessed with wonderful qualities. It’s just that these qualities vary from woman to woman.

Thirdly, Kangana’s statement drives home the reality that a dusky complexion is not equal to ugliness. Scores of women centric sites and magazines boast of questions from girls and women, looking for magic potions to change a dusky complexion to porcelain. Believe me (or, if you don’t want to, check with your dermatologist) it is impossible to change a dark skin tone to several shades lighter. Period. And there is no magic potion available for this.
However, regular exercise and skincare and proper cleansing, toning and moisturizing can help you to improve your skin’s texture and quality. Rather than a light complexion, if your skin is in top condition, you will make heads turn naturally. Being happy with our skin, hair and body, and striving to keep these in top health should be priority. Altering is not a solution at all.

Fourthly, as a well-known personality, it’s rare to see that Kangana did not cash in on this lucrative deal. Making money is fine, but earning a fortune, by keeping your social responsibilities in mind is a wonderful thing indeed! Kudos to you lady and I’m sure many Indian women will be inspired by you. Yours truly thanks you for this motivating and immensely inspiring move of yours.


  1. She also doesn't do those tacky (and mostly demeaning) "item songs" love that about her. :-)

  2. Even I hate this concept of fairness. I have a dusky skin and I love it. I can't change it but I care for it because all that matters is beautiful skin. I appreciate Kangana for doing such a great gesture.

    1. I swear! Dusky complexions are beautiful and so versatile... Its really saddening the way South East Asia s so obsessed with fairness... But I think the times are changing and I am hopeful about the future :)


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