Elle Magazine Accused of Whitening the Skin Color of an Indian Actress in Recent Cover Photo

Elle Magazine is being accused of lightening the skin color of Aishwarya Rai Bachchan who appears on their January cover. Bachchan, a Bollywood actress and former Miss World, is consideringtaking action if the claims turn out to be what they appear.

This sad story gets even sadder because this not Elle's first time doing this -- they were also accused of lightening their cover pic of "Precious" star Gabourey Sidibe (although they denied this too, but you can see the photos here).

Prerna Lal writes for Change.org:

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 international appeal. To see magazines like Elle further enforce the color hierarchy by making Aishwarya appear lighter-skinned is a slap in the face to thousands of young Indian women who aspire to be models and actors. It also plays into systemic racism when Indian women across the world pick up a copy of Elle Magazine and can barely recognize one of their own celebrities due to the fact that her skin tone was digitally lightened.

So, either Elle is sending a message that lighter is better when it comes to skin color, or Lal suggests, their photo editors are so incompetent that they don't know how to work with photos of people of color -- either case is unacceptable.

AlterNet / By Tara Lohan

Posted at January 3, 2011, 1:49pm

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