Just a few days ago a photo shoot of Zara Abid, who is one of the top ten faces in the fashion industry, went viral in which her skin tone was made to appear quite dark. Since then, the editorial that was styled by Tabesh Khoja, a well-known stylist at Nabila Salon, has come under fire for promoting colourism.
The model turned actress took to social media to clear the air. According to Zara, her skin colour was one of the main reasons why many agencies don’t sign her up. “I’m the first hand victim of discrimination and colourism that exists in the society,” wrote Zara on her official Instagram handle. “The pictures of the shoot that have been circulating have been misconstrued and manipulated by the social media users who are often too quick to jump to conclusions.”
She went on to say that the shoot did enhance her complexion because she wants to empower girls with darker skin. “On multiple occasions I have been made 2 or 3 tones lighter, so why not darker? Why don’t people stand up when I get portrayed in a lighter skin tone and are only enraged when I’m trying to represent the darker side of my population?” she questioned. “It’s high time we stop shaming dark skin and embrace it with open minds and hearts.”
Moreover, Tabesh Khoja also spoke up on the matter and said that the shoot has become the target of cultural misappropriation and colourism/racism and that the reaction has been blown out of proportion. “Zara Abid is a dark skin model. She is stunning and utterly unapologetic about her complexion. However, people are ignoring her natural skin tone, choosing to lighten it up through makeup and photo-shop. This shoot is not a representation of any particular culture,” he asserted, adding that brown is beautiful, dark is divine and all complexions are equally stunning.
“Stop bullying. Stop manipulating. Stop distorting facts and intentions. And most importantly, Stop Colour Shaming,” added Khoja.