Coronation Street fans are concerned by the behaviour of Asha Alahan (Tanisha Gorey), teenage daughter of Dev Alahan (Jimmi Harkishin) who has been in a massive strop since returning from visiting family in India.
On Wednesday 14th August she flew into a panic when the contents of her bag fell out in front of her father and she nervously grabbed everything and ran upstairs, clearly mortified – so what is she hiding?
Speculation mounted as to the reasons behind her bolshy attitude, with theories including her being secretly pregnant.
But eagle-eyed viewers may have spotted the tub of skin lightening cream she hurriedly retrieved before Dev could see. Gorey has already spoken out about her character’s new storyline which is set to explore her body image issues and illegal skin-whitening products.
“While she was in India Asha became fixated with lightening her skin,” she revealed. “It’s very normalised over there so when she comes home she thinks she might as well do it here too. In India she’s seen all the Bollywood stars she looks up to sponsoring these skin lightening creams. Asha wants to be successful and pretty like them so she thinks, ‘What’s wrong with it?'”.
Why is Asha using skin whitening creams?
“Ultimately we’ll find out this is a lot more about Asha’s low esteem,” Gorey said. “She’s been struggling to get attention from boys and she thinks maybe if I change myself I’ll get more of that.
“She thinks Dev won’t understand which is why she quickly picks up the cream out of her bag before he can see it. Asha doesn’t want to get into any sort of conversation with her dad about it, she’s not ready to answer all the questions yet. She becomes very hostile to Dev and Mary and wants her own freedom now she’s getting older.”
It’s the biggest storyline Gorey has had thus far and marks her character coming of age, having turned 13 in January. “I’m finding out more about the issue and am excited to get the message across that this is something young girls are turning to as they struggle with their self esteem,” she said.
“I’ve spoken a lot with the show’s research team and met with a lady called Narinda Chana at Rethink Mental Illness Bristol, as well as the British Skin Foundation who look into the issue. I’m learning a lot about people’s thought processes as to why they turn to skin lightening.”