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Colour prejudice
When Sonam Kapoor pointed out that his cousin, Esha, had also endorsed a fairness cream, Abhay said that was wrong too.
Abhay Deol/Facebook

Bollywood actor Abhay Deol made headlines on Wednesday when he called out many actors, including big names like Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone and Sonam Kapoor, for endorsing fairness creams.

In a series of Facebook posts, Abhay called out the hypocrisy of his fellow actors as he posted screenshots of the advertisements they have appeared in along with the name of the product.

After these posts, Abhay appealed in another Facebook status for people to stop considering one shade of skin better than the other.

"No one at the top of their game in any field is going to tell you that it is demeaning, false, and racist. You have to see that for yourself. You have to stop buying into the idea that a particular shade is better than others."

He also talked about matrimonial ads, where it is not uncommon to find the word "fair" as one of the requirements for the prospective bride or groom. "Unfortunately if you look at matrimonial ads you will see how entrenched in our psyche this belief is. We even use the word 'dusk' to describe the colour of someones skin," Abhay said. 

He also asked for people to start calling out this prejudice in their family, if nowhere else. 

There is plenty of debate on the kind of unrealistic beauty standards and colour prejudice that these products promote. A country like India continues, however, to be a thriving market for these cosmetics – with celebrities actively endorsing these products and promoting them.

While Abhay’s move was appreciated widely on social media, Sonam Kapoor, one of the actors whose ads was mentioned in his posts, tweeted a photo of Abhay’s cousin Esha and a fairness product advertisement that she had starred in.

But Abhay Deol wasn’t one to fumble and he swiftly replied, agreeing that Esha’s ad was also wrong.

It didn’t take long for people to start trolling Sonam though, and the actor responded by deleting all her tweets on the matter.