The star has been bleaching her skin for years despite receiving flak for drastically changing her looks.
Khanyi recently sat down for an interview with eNCA to discuss colourism in the entertainment industry following a heated debate on the issue.
Pearl Thusi, Bonnie Mbuli and Sho Madjozi were among several stars who took to social media last week to discuss whether light-skinned celebrities had a better chance at success than their dark-skinned counterparts.
Khanyi says that she decided looks are important in the industry.
“People forget that the entertainment industry is about aesthetic. It’s about looking like something that people can only dream about.
“People then want to put their values in the entertainment industry. This isn’t the UN, where you’re trying to save lives. We are entertaining, we give you things that you can only imagine… We look like what you can only dream about,” she told the news channel.
The Red Room actress added that the industry is not meant to educate and give people self-confidence.
“We are supposed to make you come out of your reality and dream of it when you look at us.”
Looks like Khanyi does not come cheap. She spends thousands of rands on glutathione IV treatments, skin-bleaching products and vitamins monthly
In 2017, Khanyi forked out R95 000 on cosmetic surgery. She underwent a waist reduction procedure, liposuction and also had work done on her breasts.
“90% of the colour of my skin is cosmetic now and this was a personal choice but not because it’s something that’s needed for the industry. It’s something that I preferred, and I realised that once my skin is fairer they have to use less make-up.
“Unlike sitting in the chair before I shoot a movie for long, I could just put on powder and go. So for me that was a maintenance issue I wanted to do,” she told eNCA.
The 34-year-old also addressed comments that she did not like her African skin.
“For me Africans have become bullies in terms of what our freedom means and what being African is, that now they use it against anyone and especially darker skin toned people that then want to come around and say this is how you should be when you are African.
“But why did we fight for freedom if we can’t express our freedom in the way that we feel. It doesn’t mean when you are black you should be in beads and you should look ethnic… We all want to claim we’re global citizens, but we hate it went people want to reach out and look like a global citizen.”
Kelly added that she was not bothered by people’s remarks about her looks.