It's 2022 and we still can't let go of our problematic obsession with white skin. Where's the evidence you ask? It's in the comment section underneath actor Ushna Shah's recent Instagram post.
The Parizaad actor shared multiple pictures from her trip to Austria, including one of her hand holding an ice cream cone. "I got to see some European history. They got to see a brown person," Shah wrote in the caption. Unfortunately not everyone shared her pride in the comment section.
Some users posted unkind comments about the colour of Shah's hands, calling them "dark" and in need of alteration. Others asked the actor to use makeup or a filter to whiten her hands.
"Everything else is fine ma'am but maybe you forgot to apply a filter on the picture with the cone, your hand looks lovely," an Instagram user said mockingly.
"Sister, you should apply makeup on your hands too, they're very dark," said another user.
The actor didn't take long to respond to the hate. She owned her brown skin with pride, calling users out for clinging to Eurocentric ideals of beauty. She reposted the ice cream cone photograph on her Instagram Story and pointed out why her "tanned hands" appear as they do.
Shah said, "The amount of nonsense comments from my fellow brown-skinned Pakistanis about the colour of my hands in this picture. I drive, I walk in the sun, I am tanned. I am a BROWN PERSON."
"My beautiful brown skin tanned hands look amazing with my pink nails why would I hide or filter [th]em?" she went on, asking users to move on from their colonial past. "Leave the servitude of the British, it's been a long time to 1947."
Shah hasn't been the celebrity who has voiced pride in their skin tone. In 2019, actor Mushk Kaleem posted on Instagram that she will not longer entertain clients who ask her to 'whiten up' for shoots. "No, I'm not a pearlescent white-skinned girl, I'm dusky and bronze. To all the clients who book me for shoots and then expect me to douse myself in lighter makeup to make me look 'acceptable for lawn', I'd rather you not book me at all," she wrote.
Kaleem added: "My skin colour defines me, it's who I am, so if you feel like you need to whiten me up so that I match the 'requirements of the brief, or the shoot' or 'because Lahoris have issues with dark models for summer lawn' or whatever, please don't consider me for your shoots."
It is good to see Shah and others stand up to haters and own their skin tone with pride. Beauty comes in all shapes, forms — and skin colour, contrary to what biased beauty standards will have you believe. It's time to start taking pride in our skin tones and stop belittling people because of how they look.