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Glad times have changed, conversations have started, says Yami Gautam

At a recent media interaction, the actress spoke about why her association with a fairness brand needs to be understood better.

Photo: Yami Gautam on Instagram

Shriram Iyengar

Yami Gautam's association with the cosmetics brand Fair & Lovely has earned her some flak online. In Amar Kaushik's upcoming Bala (2019), the actress is set to play a social media star who faces the fact of her love interest's baldness.

Speaking on perceptions of beauty and the dangers of social media promoting them, Yami Gautam touched upon her own experience as a brand ambassador of a cosmetics brand.

"If I have to specifically talk about Fair & Lovely the brand, I was not born when it started. It was over three decades back. It is one of the old brands and the kind of ads that were made back then... if you don't look like this, you won't find a prosperous, good-looking groom, etc. But I am so glad times have changed and are changing and a conversation has started," she said. 

The actress noted that social media has only underlined a perception of beauty that has always existed in Indian society. She said, "Social media has only highlighted what has been there for ages. The notion of beauty and perception has always been there. That is the reason why those kind of ads were being made at that time." 

Gautam has received criticism for endorsing a brand that promotes fairness for women. While the actress rejected the social media flak she received, she explained the decision to be an ambassador for the brand.

"I was with Fair & Lovely as a model before Vicky Donor (2012)," said Yami Gautam, "but it was the first time they took somebody on board as ambassador. Yes, I associated with the brand, but we had a conversation with the brand that it is time to change what we had been doing."

She added, "They are not even talking about fairness anymore. It is 'What is this glow? Nikhar?' It is not fairness. But the name is Fair & Lovely, which sadly I have no power to change. But I am happy the conversation has started. The brand will, is and should also evolve."

Gautam will next be seen opposite Ayushmann Khurrana in Bala, where she plays the dream girl to Khurrana's balding Bala. Speaking of the film, the actress said, "Film is one of the most important mediums because people relate to it. Same with Bala, it is not about baldness, it is about everything. Being fat, thin, fair, not fair, whatever you are, it is about being happy about yourself. It is about self-love. Whatever your perception of beauty makes you happy, that is you. That is where Bala comes in, and where I stand." 

Bala is set for release in theatres on 7 November.