For those of you who may not know her, this is Alyzeh Gabol.
Now, you may have noticed that Alyzeh Gabol is a fair skinned, beautiful young woman. Why is her “fair skin” important? I’ll fill you in, in just a while.
First, here’s another picture that kinda cements the fact that Alyzeh is not dark.
(Trust me, this is important.)
Okay, so the reason why I’ve been harping on about Alyzeh’s skin tone is her new Instagram picture. Here, have a look:
Is this even Alyzeh? This does NOT look like her… at all…
She even paired it up with the following caption:
Since she posted this, the picture has spread quite a bit too.
Social media pages shared the image with a positive message.
Moreover, her fans have also been appreciating her…
…in their own unique way.
But it seems like only one person was able to truly point out why this photo shoot was a little insensitive
Firstly, it doesn’t really come as a surprise that many didn’t see how this was actually pretty racist. Hum, as a quam, pehle hee kaafi racist hain, unfortunately. However, let me explain why this is racist.
This is basically a form of blackface.
What is blackface, you ask? Blackface is when a non-black individual uses theatrical make up to represent a black individual. It’s offensive for many reasons and this Guardian article gives a pretty great explanation of the same.
For us back home, we have to remember that being even slightly dark-skinned is seen to be a huge problem in our society
We have an entire industry selling fairness creams that have emphasized on the need to be gora. Our thirst for fairness stems from our repulsion towards tanned skins. God forbid we embrace our melanin, right?
Dark-skinned individuals have to go through a whole lot, even in our country. Constant beratement, being made to feel uneasy in their own skin – it’s all really tough. Moreover, there’s a lack of mainstream representation of dark-skinned actors and models in our industry.
We have women like Amna Ilyas and Iraj Manzoor in our industry, but even they can’t escape the cruel strokes of Photoshop that lighten their skin tone time and again
See what I mean?
For Alyzeh to say that she’s not looking to escape her darkness is – well – pointless. She’s not dark, to begin with
In an industry that doesn’t shy away from calling on white models for photo shoots, why can’t we have dark models coming in, teaching us a lesson or two about loving the skin we’re in? I’m sure the intention behind this photo was great. We definitely need to learn how to be more accepting of darker skin shades. And perhaps this is a step towards the same. But is this the right step? Not so sure about that, tbh.
Fill us in with your thoughts on the same in the comments below.
Cover image: Alyzeh Gabol/Instagram