Yami Gautam became a household name after her short stint on television and ultimately after her big break in Bollywood, Vicky Donor. Apart from films and television, the actress got immense visibility due to a popular fairness cream brand she has been endorsing since a long time.
The flip side, however, was that Yami was terribly criticised for being the brand ambassador of a product which promotes fairness in a country that considers “dark complexion” to be unfavourable; despite having a large number of people with dusky skin. It was definitely regressive for a society which is obsessed with “fair skin”, discriminates on the basis of skin colour and puts pressure to have a certain skin type in order to be “attractive”.
While many celebrities were being applauded for turning down fairness brands offering a hefty fees, Yami was at the receiving end of a lot of backlash for undoing years of hard work to make all skin types acceptable. While promoting her upcoming film, Bala, the actress finally opened up about the controversy and said that every skin colour is beautiful.
In an interview with Pinkvilla, she said that she became aware of her position as a trendsetter post Vicky Donor and expressed her concerns to the brand company:
I told them forget being a brand ambassador. The fact is that you can promote the brand but to show that not being fair is something to be unhappy about, that’s not right.
Moreover, despite being associated with the brand, Yami never shied away from talking about the topic. She also spoke about getting emotional when she was trolled for the ads, as she was clueless about how to handle them. She further revealed that it was a tough time as she would get calls from journalists at odd hours, asking her to comment on the controversy.
Thankfully, times have changed and so have the brand concepts:
The kinds of ads which were made earlier, thankfully, they are not there anymore. But the brand has been there even before I was born. It is the word, the name which has still retained since that time.