Sajal Aly, fair and lovely and Pakistan’s problematic colorism
The ‘gora complex‘ is strong in this side of the world. When the British left us in 1947, they didn’t take their mindsets with them. Pakistanis, up to this day, believe that being fair is prettier than being dark. Our society is set up to believe that those who do not have fair skin, need to everything and anything they can to be more gora because being white is equated with being pretty. Even Pakistan’s mainstream media usually portrays fairer girls as more desirable than darker girls.
There have been some strong support against colorism. Campaign’s like ‘Dark is Divine’ have spread awareness about this absurd need of the South Asian community to have fairer skin. It’s for issues like these that we need strong influential role models to spread this message even further.
Unfortunately, Sajal Aly recently did a Fair and Lovely commercial for a whitening cream that has pissed a lot of people
“Sirf nikhaar hua purana, ab Fair and Lovely dey gi HD glow.” Sajal says in the commercial, advertising this very popular fairness cream. In the commercial we can see her skin getting lighter from the apparent use of this cream.
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Fair & Lovely HD Glow New TVC featuring @sajalaly Directed by: @farooqmannan Styling: @mavikayanistylist Hair & Makeup: @khanshoaib.thestylist Celebrity Management (Sajal Ali): @5thelement.productions @noman.syed Assistant Directors: @shahidiqbal23 #FarhanKhattak Productions: @formulafilms Producer: @shahidyaqub Client: @fairandlovelypk Agency: Lowe & Rauf #5thelementproductions #formulafilms #sajalaly #mavikiyani #farooqmannan
All the girls in the commercial are happy and cheering for Sajal, girls on Twitter? Not so much.
Many spoke up against this product endorsed by Sajal Aly
Sajal shouldn’t have done the Fair and Lovely tvc. It is just so disappointing that on one hand you do great work, talk about social responsibility as a role model and then you go and do a fairness cream tvc to put young girls and women in an even more insecure mindset.
— Sheeshu 🦋 (@itssheeshkebab) April 18, 2019
Won't mention how disappointed I'm in Sajal Aly for her Fair n Lovely Tvc (all these people are ignorant af) it's just that she's already fair why did the makers feel dire need to make her look like a 2000-watt bulb irritating my eyes
— a**** (@grimorgray) April 18, 2019
Really disappointed in Sajal Aly for choosing to do a Fair and Lovely ad when colorism is an obvious issue in our society.
People with darker skin are given poorer treatment, rejected for marriage, jobs, considered lower-class, etc.
— 🔅 (@pkpopculture) April 6, 2019
It’s amazing to see this response from the local audience as it shows how enlightened Pakistanis have become regarding fairness creams.
Some even reminded others that it wasn’t just Sajal who advertised Fair and Lovely, other popular celebrities have also endorsed such problematic products
P 🔊 S 🔊 A
While we are hating on Sajal Aly: Your favs (aka Fawad Khan, Shahid Afridi, Mawra Hocane, Syra Shahroz, Ainy Jaffri, Sanam Jung, Amna Ilyas, Neelam Muneer, Aiza Khan) have ALL been in a Fair and Lovely ad in the past as well. 💋
— 🔅 (@pkpopculture) April 9, 2019
Why are you guys making fair and lovely add an issue when Sajal worked in it? Jab koi aur fair and lovely ke add mai ata hai tab kyu nahi bolte. Bhue it's a fairness cream only comeon stop! Jab veet ke add dekhte ho mazay le le kr tab kch ni hota? Ajeeb falto ki bakwas.
— Haniya/caies/inactive (@_Hanniya_) April 6, 2019
This person perfectly sums up why promoting and endorsing fairness creams is wrong, especially in 20-frickin’-19 where you must evolve out of archaic stereotypes
heres the thing, i love sajal but what's wrong is wrong. Colourism is a HUGE issue in south asia people are treated like shit because of their skin colour. Fair and lovely literally tells you that you can only be pretty if you're fair? Promoting it is WRONG
— hiba | cies (@zayndeprived) April 5, 2019
Most of the people in Pakistan are brown skinned, by advertising and promoting fairness creams brands are basically saying that the way they were born isn’t good enough. Their skin isn’t bright enough or that they’re not beautiful enough. This creates an unhealthy society as it creates classes within itself.
Sajal hasn’t quite responded to any of the comments she has been getting about this TVC.
What do you think about this AD? How can we further address colorism? Let us know in the comments below.
This Pakistani Morning Show’s Racist Makeup Looks Are Absolutely Ridiculous And People Are Enraged
A Parlor In Lahore Lightened My Skin Color With Makeup And It Shows How We’re Still Obsessed With Being Gora
Taunted For Being A Dark-Skinned Girl, Here’s How I Learned To Love Myself
Cover image via: @sajalaly / Instagram