- Indian influencer Ansha Mohan is facing backlash for darkening her skin with makeup for content.
- In a series of Instagram posts, Mohan — darkened with makeup — pretends to be a street vendor.
- Some saw the content as inspirational, but most did not — accusing Mohan of appropriating poverty.
Indian influencer Ansha Mohan is facing backlash over darkening her skin with makeup and seemingly roleplaying a street vendor in a series of videos posted to her Instagram over the last month.
In an October 19 reel, captioned “no one has ever become poor by giving,” Mohan appears to be selling roses on the street — showing one couple gesturing to dismiss Mohan’s outstretched rose, and, in another frame, a woman accepting it. In others, roses fall from her bag, and a passerby helps by picking them up.
Commenters criticized Mohan for darkening her skin with makeup and called it an exploitative example of colorism, accusing the influencer with 325,000 Instagram followers of appropriating “casteism and classism for profits” and “pretending to be poor for views.”
Despite the negative comments, the influencer has added more photos and reels from the photoshoot to her Instagram since her first post of the series, captioned “what is sexier in black? Answer: people,” on August 16.
Some have defended Mohan’s actions as “good” — intended to spread awareness of the economically exploited or show that “dark skin can be beautiful too” — on Twitter, but most have denounced the photos and videos as tone-deaf, exploitative, and offensive.
On Twitter, one user responded to the defense of Mohan in frustration, saying intentions to benefit people with dark skin who face colorism or those who experience poverty would have been more appropriately served by hiring an actual dark-skinned person who sells flowers for a living, so they might directly benefit from Mohan’s content.
then get an actual dark skinned person who sells flowers for a living to do the photo shoot and pay them a proper fee/royalties?!
an affluent light skin person painting themselves darker to earn clout and money is not making the statement you think it is.
— 🦕 (@ospxEq) October 21, 2022
Ansha Mohan did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.