IT’S NOT FAIR: Anitha Kholay

Beauty is more than skin-deep; it is an inner attribute and it is eternal.

TEXT: NAMITA GUPTA

PHOTOGRAPHS: LUCKY MALHOTRA

We live in a country that’s obsessed with fair skin. While millions of people across the world, envy our brown skin and crave for it, we Indians are still basking in the so-called beauty associated with whiteness. It’s bizarre that even in today’s day and age, people are stereotyped based on their skin colour, not only in India, but across Asia and even Africa. #ItsNotFair, a concept close to fashion and lifestyle photographer Lucky Malhotra’s heart, is also something RITZ Magazine stands by with complete conviction.

So, what’s #ItsNotFair all about? “I have seen this discrimination happening around with women specially where they’re made to believe that being fair is of utmost importance. Once when my nine-year-old daughter wanted my permission to attend a birthday party of her classmate and could not recollect who it was by her name, she described her saying the one who is very fair. That line hit me and I asked her if she liked her own complexion? Although she said yes, I kept thinking about this for a while and soon started this campaign with the hashtag #ItsNotFair. Parents and the society are to be blamed as this thought creeps into a child’s mind because of them. If we are all encouraging in teaching our younger generation that taking care of one’s skin is more important than the colour of the complexion, I feel there would probably be no issues and it would help them grow up with confidence. Even the schools should take up this initiative, as I see lot of bullying happening around based on complexion. Even teachers should take this up and not favour students who are fair, giving them prominence in stage performances and breaking their confidence. Also, some North Indians discriminating South Indians is not fair. South Indians are blessed with great skin and they should be proud of it. Judging anyone based on their skin tone is demeaning. Even such matrimonial ads should be banned. Women are not commodities,” shares Lucky Malhotra, award-winning photographer, who has over 15 years of experience shooting for some of the top-notch brands, celebrities, campaigns, designers, hospitality, sports personalities, corporate heads and more.

Anitha Kholay, Award winning International Rally Driver, Owner of the race track Aruani Grid and Founder of Anitha Kholay Motorsports Academy.

Your thoughts on being dusky in a country like India where people are obsessed with fair skin: I see a lot of Indians obsessed with white skin. It’s just a perception that fair skin looks appealing to the eyes. How can one judge people by their colour? The factor that needs to be considered is how well one is groomed and the overall personality. Indian skin colour is the most sought after and has an unsurpassed charm to it. Dusky models and actresses dominate the glamour industry across the world and its high time that Indians sit up and takes notice.

Concept of itsnotfair, what it means to you and how you took being dusky in your stride: As a child I grew up with a feeling that I wanted to be fairer like some of my friends. I also fell prey for a moment as a teenager and wondered if there was a whitening product that could help, but I’m glad it was just a fleeting thought and I did not succumb to the pressure of actually applying some whitening creams. I never entertained the thought for long and it was over the moment I realised that beauty is skin-deep. I’m proud of being dusky and have achieved great lengths in my professional career as a Motorsports enthusiast. Itsnotfair as a concept is more an awareness to those with a mental block and this concept is a great step towards eradicating this social stigma and I totally endorse it.