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In Your Own Skin: A Message From Taapsee Pannu

Posted: February 7, 2017

If more stars take a stand on fairness creams as Taapsee Pannu recently did, would we see less fascination with fair skin in India?

As Gayatri Gauri from Firstpost rightly says,“Taapsee Pannu wears little make- up, dresses simple, and talks fast. So fast that she can make a rapid fire round seem slow.”

Pannu won accolades for her performance in Pink. It was her third Hindi film where she portrayed the role of a vulnerable girl fighting for justice in a molestation case. Her portrayal in Pink was well received critically.

Pannu believes in the cause of women’s empowerment. She gets invited to many awards and events where she speaks on this cause. Recently, Pannu declined an invitation to an event in Jaipur because it was sponsored by a fairness cream brand. Our image of self is largely influenced by our surroundings. The place we live in and our upbringing, our friends and level of understanding reflect a lot in our body image.

At the Jaipur event, she was supposed to speak on women in cinema and their changing roles. She withdrew her participation from the event because the sponsor was one of the fairness cream brands, and she believed that it would not be genuine on her part to attend. She was regretful for not attending the event but said that she personally disapproves of any kind of discrimination.

We need to be clear that no one body size or colour is ideal and nobody could be looking perfect all the time. Instead, most people end up chasing an imaginary, ideal construct of beauty. People should be comfortable in their own skin but the media is bombarding them to look like everything else except their own selves.

Pannu’s stand on this issue is exemplary. One should be delighted with their sense of self and it should be a critical component of their character. We need more stars like her who take a stand.

Biraj Majumder is a student in the Humanities and Social Sciences.
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