This social media campaign on racial discrimination by photographer Lucky Malhotra highlights the ‘darker’ side to our perspectives.
Despite having worked extensively for glossies, where airbrushed, too-good-to-be true silhouettes and photo-shopped physiognomy are the norm; photographer Lucky Malhotra makes it a point to bring in a realistic perspective whenever he can. His recent Social media campaign, #ItsNotFair is garnering traction — for all the right reasons. Speaking about how it’s important for public figures and those in the spotlight to quash discrimination owing to one’s skin tone; Lucky gets candid about why he wishes to make a point.
“The series sprouted out of a recent conversation with my nine-year-old daughter. She wanted to attend a classmate’s birthday party and asked me if she could go. I could not recollect who that friend was by her name, and then she gave me this description implying this girl was quite fair toned. The word ‘fair’ was stressed. This egged me on to ask my daughter whether she was proud of her complexion (she’s on the duskier side), to which she answered yes! While I’m glad my wife and I never for once made her feel that being fair is a blessing, it’d be a lie if I were to say we have all grown past the obsession with fair skin. We clearly haven’t,” begins Lucky, who aims to spread a message which is often overlooked. “The message is simple and perhaps ubiquitously discussed, yet conveniently overlooked. I’d like for parents to encourage their kids to not get bogged down by the colour of skin and break the self-esteem of a girl child as parents are the first source of self-confidence for children.”
The campaign, which has been carefully curated by the photographer, wasn’t an easy task — with many models shying away from being typecast as ‘dark’. “I have been very picky about who I am working with as I need them to be an inspiration to others, it takes a lot to select from the list of women who like to be shot, I always meet them and find out if they are really serious about this campaign. I don’t want to waste my time with people who think this is one more addition to their portfolio,” he opines.
The series feature five women from different walks of life — Debanti Roy, Sneha Chandrashekar, Sophie Adline, Anamika Chanda, Lopa Saikia. Speaking of the responses, Lucky reveals, “Some friends of the women I shot were jealous too as I shot them. This is very common and does not affect me as I know the reason why I am doing this.”
Taking things easy is what seems to be Lucky’s ideology. “It’s too early to say but this could shape up into a calendar or a coffee-table book. I am looking forward to working with women from different cities, and preferably those who are not light skinned as I want to stay true to this campaign and even if I make an exception, it would be for a strong reason,” he signs off.