As announced a while back, “Slumdog Millionaire” star Freida Pinto has been made the latest international spokesperson of cosmetic giant L’Oreal. The first ad from the new campaign is already out there and, as it happens, it’s already causing a frenzy on the Internet and in the media, with many questioning the company’s decision to make Pinto’s skin much lighter than it really is.
This is not the first time that L’Oreal comes under heavy fire for having its artists go a little overboard with retouching, as fans must remember. A while ago, an ad featuring R&B singing sensation Beyonce also drew intense criticism since it clearly showed that her skin was several tones lighter than in real life, which, understandably, forced critics to say that L’Oreal should just choose only white women if white skin was what it wanted.
Now, it’s Freida Pinto’s turn to get the unwanted, completely unnecessary “makeover,” critics are saying. A gorgeous woman who could easily grace the cover of any magazine without no retouching at all, Pinto seems to have drawn the short stick on this one, since she got to go “whiter” without even asking for it probably, it is being said in the media. Fans and customers are equally upset: L’Oreal should just hire only white women if it has such a seemingly obvious problem with darker skin.
Come to think of it, it’s not like only L’Oreal is after the beautiful actress for an endorsement contract. Just recently, for instance, it was reported that Estee Lauder was also trying to get her to sign a contract with the company, becoming the new face of several important products. At the same time, speculation had it, she would come to replace actress Gwyneth Paltrow, one of Lauder’s longtime spokespersons, which caused more than little concern to the latter star since endorsements were a big source of revenue for her.
“Gwyneth makes millions through her sponsorship deals and it’s her commercial work that’s keeping her rich. The news that Estee Lauder is in talks with Freida caught her by complete surprise. Losing the Estee Lauder deal would be a huge blow to Gwyneth. She’s waiting for an exact outline of what Freida will be doing for the brand and hoping she won’t be sidelined.” an unnamed source was telling the British media a short while back. Although this report has not been confirmed thus far, the prospect of losing the £1 million a year she makes from the contract could be reason enough for Paltrow to be concerned, it has been argued.
*Update: Michael Trese, VP, External Affairs L’Oreal Paris, tells us the picture of Freida Pinto currently circulating on the Internet is not part of the L’Oreal campaign, having been provided by her management to accompany the official announcement. According to Mr. Trese, L’Oreal is yet to begin photography with the actress for the campaign.