In a new interview with The Guardian, Freida Pinto claimed that L'Oréal lightened her skin in some of the images used for a 2011 advertising campaign. While the beauty company denied the allegations at the time, Pinto said she believes otherwise.
“All the brands, including L’Oréal, have a skin-lightening range that they sell in India and I made them put it in my contract that I would not touch that with a barge pole. If you don’t put it in your contract before you sign on, they can come and you will be compelled to do it,” said Pinto.
At the time of the campaign, L'Oréal denied they had retouched the photo, releasing the following statement: “It is categorically untrue that L'Oréal Paris altered Ms. Pinto's features or skin-tone in the campaign for Project Runway ‘Colours Take Flight’ limited-edition collection."
Following the controversy, Pinto said she demanded to see pictures from photoshoots before they were published so she could question brands on colour correction. She also revealed that she had a clause written into her contract saying she would not be involved in promoting any skin-lightening products. After making her concerns heard, the actress noted she has not had any issue with skin-lightening since.
Pinto had a lucrative seven-year contract with the brand.
Other victims of colourism are a singer Beyoncé and a British actress Jameela Jamil. When Beyonce was featured in a L’Oréal advertising back in 2008, the picture was so lightened that some actually accused Beyonce of bleaching her skin. In the reality, it was the advertising campaign that washed the colour away from the pop singer’s face. Last year, a British actress Jameela Jamil expressed the hurt she has felt over being made to “look white” in photo shoots throughout her career, explaining the negative impact that airbrushing has had on her mental health.