Love the Skin You are In – A commentary on Fairness Obsession

Credit: Marc de Groot, Getty Images, Vogue India, Vogue US, Viral Bhayani & Polyvore


Pictured L to R: Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan, Deepika Padukone, Priyanka Chopra, Alek Wek, Rihanna, Kimora Lee, Halle Berry, Chitrangada Singh, Bipasha Basu, Beyonce, Kerry Washington & Naomi Campbell
(Credit: Marc de Groot, Getty Images, Vogue India, Vogue US, Viral Bhayani & Polyvore)

So I was on my usual commentary rounds when I came upon the following statement on the infamous site Pinkvilla.com:

you guys can bash me all you want but it’s the truth ūüôā
tamannah will make it big cuz she has the lookd,(sic) complexion, and body just like katrina

katrina is loved world wide because she is beatiful(sic) and her acting but also because of her beautiful skin tone
it hurts to soem (sic)but the truth is that light people with aryan features will always rule india

examples: katrina, bebo, karishma, anushka, etc.¬†¬†‚ÄĒ katrinalover

(Posted Sat, 2013-02-09 17:16 )

This quote was in response to a post regarding the upcoming Hindi film ‘Himmatwala’ starring Ajay Devgan and Bollywood newcomer Tamannaah. Based on one photo (a still from the upcoming flick seen below) the afore-quoted genius is/was predicting a successful career for the cross-over actress based on her skin complexion. *Insert incessant blinking*

(Credit: UTV)

(Credit: UTV)

“Aryan”¬†– A member of a people speaking an Indo-European language who invaded northern India in the 2nd millennium bc. (Google)

“Aryan race”¬†– A 19th/20th century racialist thought that the Nordic people were the true Aryans i.e “the pure race” which was said to be less racially mixed with non-native Indo-European people, an idea most notably embraced by Nazi ideology. (Wikipedia)

21st century, planet earth:¬†Halle¬†Berry,¬†Freida¬†Pinto, Zoe¬†Saldana,¬†Thandie¬†Newton, Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama, Gabby Douglas, Jennifer Lopez,¬†Padma¬†Lakshmi, Naomi Campbell,¬†Beyonce, Alek¬†Wek,¬†Oluchi¬†Orlandi,¬†Kimora¬†Lee, Chanel Iman, Kerry Washington,¬†Rihanna, Iman, Tyra Banks et. al. All women of colour who remain at the top of their respective crafts globally. Not only are they women of colour, they are famous the world over and not affiliates of the so-called “Aryan” persuasion.

The fact is, there are so many talented women in Bollywood as well who are acclaimed in every way imaginable yet are not fair-skinned nor do they have so-called “Aryan” features (i.e. actresses like Chitrangada Singh, Bipasha Basu, Deepika Padukone, Rani Mukherjee, Priyanka Chopra, Konkona Sen Sharma, Seema Biswas, Sameera Reddy et.al.) plus they are worth their salt and can hold candles to their fair-skinned contemporaries but then again in the real world it is not about the colour of your skin otherwise we would not even know these women. Preoccupation with such triviality as the colour of ones eyes or skin or hair and it having to do with who we really are, are the sort of social ills that plague us not only as a society but as this race we call human. The person who posted that racist comment was not even anonymous. We are all entitled to our own opinions but it really is shocking to know that some people still think like this.

Bottom line: Whether or not Tamannaah succeeds in Bollywood will depend on God, her talent, hard work and/or connections not the colour of her skin. After all actor¬†Zayed Khan is as fair-skinned as his brother-in-law Hrithik Roshan, why isn’t he as famous or as successful an actor?

Love the skin you’re in people.

VW

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4 thoughts on “Love the Skin You are In – A commentary on Fairness Obsession

  1. As correct as you are, isn’t the fairness complex in Bollywood just a reflection of the very same complex that millions of women face in their own lives? The huge market for fairness creams is only proof of this. Even these talented, dusky actresses endorse fairness creams. Priyanka Chopra endorses Garnier Light and Deepika Padukone endorses Neutrogena Fine Fairness. The “King Khan” is no exception either. I think a deeper analysis is needed here.

  2. It’s very tragic if people really feel the need to lighten their skin in order to fit into society or some warped beauty standard. The companies manufacturing the products and the consumers share equal blame. Indian women are world renowned beauties no matter what shade. Before Priyanka Chopra endorsed Garnier light, she won the Miss World pageant with her dusky complexion and in spite of endorsing the product the reality is she is still dark and lovely, so is Deepika. I don’t have the answers, obviously this is an issue deep rooted in Indian society and all I can offer are my two rupees.

  3. Awww I just love some of the photos you have selected, esp the one of Aishwarya (duh!) and that one of Deepika looks sooo exotic and bewitching!

    Well I personally love my skin but it’s sad that a lot of people don’t. The whitening cream industry is really disgusting! Top celebs are endorsing them and it’s too bad because ppl look up to these guys. Booo! I agree with Tania above, it is a complex issue and deeply engrained in society’s mindset. As for you-know-who that endorsed white supremacy… who knows, maybe they were just trolling to get a rise out of people, or maybe they are a Kat detractor who is trying to attract hatred to Madame Turcotte. I wouldn’t take such an ignoramus too seriously.

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