Bollywood

Actresses who refused endorsements for moral reasons

The actresses in Mumbai are increasingly taking a stand against the kind of endorsements that they want to do.
This story hasn’t come out anywhere because it is not related to their films and something that the actresses too want to keep in wraps. But we spoke to different people and found out that over the past six months, the Bollywood actresses have declined several advertisements because of image issues. Interestingly, the actresses have admitted this on record too.
We are not going to name the companies for obvious reasons but here are the actresses who have taken a stand against companies and the products they make. Given the way corporations are running the country and driving the entertainment business, the decisions were not easy. But they have managed to do it. Here are the actresses who have done what seemingly seemed impossible.

Kareena Kapoor :
Kareena Kapoor has decided that she will not endorse anything that is a pan masala, gutkha, a liquor brand or something which is an addiction in any form. She has taken it to a more severe form of endorsement. This means that Kareena has decided not to attend events where these companies are the title sponsors. It’s often said that Hindi films are male-dominated while the actresses are more of an accessory. This mindset betrays the women-centric films that are currently lining up. Although the disparity in paychecks is still a sore point, there are some noteworthy instances involving actresses who are not only willing to defy commercial interests but also make them clear on where they stand when it comes to an issue or a topic. Kareena is leading the pack on this. She said, “

“I don’t associate myself with any event, programme, or brand endorsement where an alcohol or a tobacco brand is involved. This is a decison not taken because I want to maintain a certain image, it is because I want stick to my beliefs  It’s a conviction and not a belief’.

Kangana Ranaut :  
The debate on what racism means to an Indian shall always be a touchy and ambiguous topic. However, as far as cinema is concerned, a person’s skin tone hasn’t always determined stardom. But with excessive commercialisation in place, Bollywood actors have lately started associating themselves with skin whitening products. Much against this trend, Kangs refused to endorse a fairness cream – a move that might overlook big easy moolah but is certainly a step towards asking the right questions. Over the past six months, Kangana Ranaut has refused at least a dozen offers to endorse a skin lightening cream. Each coming with a fatter pay cheque. She said,"If I don’t believe in something, I don’t do it. I don’t believe that your skin tone defines you. By subscribing to those notions, we are creating stereotypes  I am victim of stereotyping, I don’t want to promote stereotyping.”

Sonakshi Sinha :
Thin is always in. At least that’s what they made you believe before Sona entered the scene. Often chided for being “out of shape” and “too curvy”, the actress has stuck to her guns so far. In her retort, she even went on record stating she’s healthy and won’t succumb to crash diets. Also, no swimsuits and steamy scenes for her. But she really showed her mettle when she refused to carry on with a reputed clothes brand which asked her to lose weight because it wanted to promote its skinny jeans. Sona backed off saying that it was not done. She said, 

“I don’t know how women can be defined by a body type. I am an Indian woman and Indian women have always been curvy and heavier. How can somebody now define the Indian woman differently. I am an quintessential Indian woman and I am not going to change that because somebody else is trying to change me.”

Deepika Padukone :
In the past few years, performing in an item song gradually moved from item girls’ domain to lead actresses’. As a result, everyone from Katrina Kaif to Kareena Kapoor to Vidya Balan to Priyanka Chopra to Bipasha Basu has moved their hips to similar tracks with frivolous lyrics. Interestingly, Dippy refused an offer to do the same by Subhash Ghai for his film Kaanchi. However, two years ago, the Bangalorean beauty was part of an item song in Dum Maro Dum which was considered “way too bold”. Apparently, Deepika has now decided not to be a part of any song that defines a woman in a vulgar manner. She says, “

“I don’t believe in not  having dignity. A woman should have dignity. A woman should be respected and I will always stand by it." 

Nandita Das :
A thinking man’s sex symbol, this actor-director clearly goes by her instincts. She made a film like Firaaq (2008) when Bollywood at large was happy pretending that nothing wrong happened in Gujarat, post-Godhra. Known for vocally stating her stand on topics that often go unnoticed by the media, Nandita recently launched an online movement against fairness products. Being dusky herself, her arguments on how things could be staked against you just because of your skin colour are strong. She said, 

"Certain section of people are creating a concept of a beauty in an young girl’s mind. People who have teenage daughters who are constantly getting influences by television and screen, will understand my plight. These notions create a pecking order by the shades of darkness of your skin (since all Indians are essentially dark). There cannot be a social ladder which depends on which shade of dark you belong. Not only me, we need to fight this." 

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