Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Elle Whitewashes beautiful Bollywood Actress

It's not just book publishers who sometimes get it wrong. Elle recently white washed the beautiful Bollywood Actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan who is best known for being Miss World.

What can we do? Visit Change.Org and signe the petition. Thanks to April at Good Books and Wine for tweeting this.

Here is some info from Change:

It looks like Elle had quite the white Christmas.

Bollywood actor and former Miss World Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is featured on the cover of Elle Magazine looking far paler than she is in real life. Most fans are up in arms and an appalled Ms. Bachchan is considering a lawsuit against the magazine.

Consumers have long been inundated with ads that use prominent Bollywood actors to promote skin-lightening products. In a country that produces gorgeous women of color, it is sad that Ms. Rai-Bachchan, who is relatively light-skinned, is one of the very few with some cross-over appeal. To see magazines like Elle further enforce the color hierarchy of crossover appeal by making Aishwarya appear lighter-skinned is a slap in the face.

This is the second racial debacle surrounding Elle. The American version was criticized for its October 2010 issue, which featured actress Gabourey Sidibeon on one of its four celebrity covers with noticeably lighter skin than her natural complexion.

Lets tell Elle Magazine to make a commitment to moving away from using white as a standard for beauty, and demand a public statement and apology.


  1. Horrid. Simply horrid. She's so beautiful the way she is, too! Thanks for the heads up on this.

  2. Aishwarya Rai is gorgeous just the way she is, but I'm questioning her sincerity on this one. During her long and illustrious career, Rai is a celebrity endorser of the Indian soap brand Lux and has been featured in Lux's "White Glow" campaign. It's basically a skin lightening product. Here's an example of such an ad: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vm7r4WHeW90 (it's in English).

    Skin-lightening products are a burgeoning industry in India, and many actresses are featured in these ads. Rai's natural skin color is definitely lighter than the average Indian (and probably also, the average Indian actress), as is demonstrated when she's in public places or press interviews, as opposed to onscreen. But I wonder at her protesting at Elle's decision to lighten her skin on the cover of a non-Indian publication when she doesn't have a problem selling the idea of white = beauty inside her own country.

  3. At what point do we allow people to love who they are the way they are?! The media/magazines/product makers just send us messages all day long that we aren't good enough

  4. I am well aware of the skin lightening products issue in India. It is everywhere in Africa as well. It sadden me and also makes me angry when magazines with a lot of influence like ELLE pour oil into the fire.
    This is just a shame.