When one of the most influential and popular actors in the country subscribes to patriarchal notions of beauty, it absolutely requires calling out. Shah Rukh Khan, in an interview to Delhi Times, has declared that he thinks his daughter is the most beautiful girl in the world, *even though* she is dusky. Wow. Way to conform to the post-colonial hangover that thinks fairer skin is better than darker skin tones. And THIS while trying to clarify his stance on still endorsing fairness creams (worth several crores per annum), something he has been criticised for.
Khan said he was a ‘lower middle-class guy, with none of these trappings’. What trappings? The ones you endorse? And while signing off on the interview, Khan dropped the bomb by saying: “I’ll be honest; my daughter is sanwli (dusky), but she’s the most beautiful girl in the world. And nobody can tell me otherwise.” Many people reading the interview have since gotten stuck on the ‘but’. Some would call this SRK’s in-built lower middle-class bias, that aspires for fairness as if it were an accomplishment. Khan has even propagated that bias by endorsing fairness creams for more than a decade.
Here’s how Twitter reacted to Shah Rukh Khan’s brain-fart moment:
Kya bol rahe ho ya SRK, you are supposed to be one of the better ones out there pic.twitter.com/lq5ZuQlGYw
— Shreemi Verma (@shreemiverma) November 13, 2018
@iamsrk being dusky is not beautiful or what?
— Raj endra Rajendran (@rajuspi) November 13, 2018
I expected better from @iamsrk but then again aren’t we all a victim of our conditioning? But let’s try and step up people. Skin colour and beauty aren’t interrelated. Appearance and beauty aren’t interrelated. Shun these shallow beauty norms! https://t.co/KkBLkTxbqm
— Mohar Basu (@MoharBasu) November 14, 2018
— So Called Dentist (@BalluBalram13) November 13, 2018
Please don’t correct @iamsrk let him express himself and the feelings of most Indians anyway. Dusky is not considered beautiful in your part of the world that’s why he said “but” & you know it pic.twitter.com/Aw3ruyuagP
— Rebecca Memsaab ツ (@voiceswriter) November 14, 2018
— Surabhi Prasad (@surabhi_prasad) November 14, 2018
— Suchitra Ramani (@succhee) November 13, 2018
Do better, SRK. Do better by your daughter and your millions of fans.