India’s very own Rihanna breaks gender stereotypes

This positive news comes to us from Chattisgarh, India.

Tens of millions of people all around the world use fairness creams and skin lightening products in the hope of a better life and elevated standards of living. By 2024, the global spending on skin lightening creams will stand at a staggering $31.2 billion. There are lots of unfortunate stories to be shared by people who are naturally dark and many of these stories come from our country.

Renee Kujur from Chattisgarh was also a victim of the dark skin stereotype while she grew up and even after she chose to model as a profession. Her first brush with the name and shame came when she was a tiny 3 years old. She was dressed as a fairy and participated in a fancy dress competition. As soon as she walked on stage, the crowd booed her and made her cry. People were saying things like “ Dekho Dekho, kali pari”.

This is one of the instances of which Renee has been a victim. Another instance that she remembers vividly is from her initial days in modeling. For one long year, she remained unemployed because of how she looked.

She had no job for a year and was frustrated. She made her portfolio from her savings and circulated it but she met with rejection everywhere. She was always told that only fair models were needed. Renee also started late and for that purpose, he had to hide her actual age, because younger models were preferred.

On the rare occasions when she got work, the photographers would tell the makeup artists to lighten her skin tone 3-4 degrees. Also, her images would be photoshopped.

The humiliation and degradation continued until one of Renee’s friends noticed the uncanny resemblances she bore to pop star Robyn Rihanna Fenty. Renee did not want this to buoy up her expectations and she laughed it off. But with time, more people began noticing the similarity and she gained popularity in the modeling industry.

Photographers began telling their clients that Renee resembled Rihanna and it began to get easier to convince them. Renee says that the fact that Rihanna is beautiful and dark worked to her favor and now there is much more acceptance. Renee nowadays is loaded with work and she thanks Rihanna for this!

Image Source: India Today

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