Yes, Suhana Khan, Let’s #EndColourism. Now Please Ask SRK to Stop Fair & Handsome Endorsement

Social Commentary

Yes, Suhana Khan, Let’s #EndColourism. Now Please Ask SRK to Stop Fair & Handsome Endorsement

Illustration: Robin Chakraborty

Being famous on social media is a double-edged sword. With millions of followers, a few trolls are bound to creep in. Suhana Khan, daughter of Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, has one million followers of her own on Instagram, and yesterday she took a stand against the trolling she has been consistently receiving on the platform. In a post where she shared screenshots of the names she’s been called over her appearance, Khan made a post which ended with the hashtag #EndColourism.

 

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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. I’ve been told I’m ugly because of my skin tone, by full grown men and women, since I was 12 years old. 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. 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

A post shared by Suhana Khan (@suhanakhan2) on

In the post, she wrote “this isn’t just about me, it’s about every young girl/boy who has grown up feeling inferior for absolutely no reason.” Khan railed against Indian society’s bias toward fair skin, sharing that she had been made to feel conscious about her appearance from as early as the age of 12. “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,” she said.

#SuhanaKhan writes a note reacting to trolls on social media who have consistently commented on skin tone https://t.co/j5GKwxAlEA

— IndiaToday (@IndiaToday) September 30, 2020

While Khan’s statement against this prevailing prejudice is justified, especially given the kind of unsolicited comments she receives, it was received with a dose of cynicism by a few. Khan’s father, Shah Rukh, is an ambassador for a range of fairness creams, regularly appearing in ads endorsing a product that perpetuates the colourism in Indian society.

I appreciate that young #SuhanaKhan wants to #endcolourism
A suggestion. Start this campaign from home. Ask daddy NOT to endorse fairness creams. Deal? #justsaying

— Smita Deshmukh (@smitadeshmukh) September 30, 2020

Of course, along with the serious criticisms, there was a crop of memes that sprang up.

#SuhanaKhan urging people to end colorism…
Meanwhile his father SRK who have did fair & handsome endorsement… pic.twitter.com/TiTeoOnExz

— Pranav (@sawarkar_pranav) September 30, 2020

While many social media users jumped on the evident double standard of Suhana calling to end colourism while Shah Rukh endorses fairness products to chip away at her validity, others took her side. They acknowledged that she was her own person, and should not be held responsible for her father’s actions.

Dont care about either party here, but really stop holding women accountable for the men related to them. Newsflash: women can have their own personalities! https://t.co/sxM3n76yja

— Ruchika Sharma (@tishasaroyan) September 30, 2020

stop blaming a young girl for the decisions her dad makes. a child is not accountable for the things their parents do. #SuhanaKhan has all the rights to speak what she wants & share her story. stop bullying her for things @iamsrk does/did.

— Ananya (@ananya1391) September 30, 2020

Whatever your take on Suhana’s post, what’s been made clear is that colourism is going nowhere soon.

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