While color discrimination or racism has been an issue for ages, it recently came into limelight when George Floyd died. Many around the world protested and showed support to the black community through social media posts. Stars such as Priyanka Chopra, Sara Ali Khan, Deepika Padukone, Kareena Kapoor Khan and others also raised their voice in support of the black community. Recently, fairness cream Fair and Lovely also announced that they are dropping ‘Fair’ from their name. After the incident, many celebrities also came out with their stories of discrimination. Actress Bipasha Basu shared how ‘dusky’ became the first adjective to describe her. Now Bhabhiji Ghar Par Hain actress Soumya Tandon has revealed that she lost out on a lot of work abroad as she was termed ‘too fair’.
TV actress Soumya Tandon shared her experience and revealed that when she used to give auditions abroad, she was told that she isn’t ‘brown’ enough. She told Hindustan Times, “I lost out on a lot of work because they said ‘she is too fair’, because they perceive an Indian girl to not be that, she should be ‘brown’. A lot of auditions I give abroad, they say ‘oh you are fair, Indian girls are not supposed to be that’. I said it’s so stereotypical. The world outside perceives the Indian girl to be brown.”
She added, “I have been rejected being told ‘you are not brown, so you will not be cast as an Indian.” There is no denying that actors of Indian original are expected to be ‘brown’ to be cast in movies or shows. Any other color is not accepted.
Onb her show Bhabhiji Ghar Par Hain, Soumya Tandon plays the role of Anita Bhabhi and is popularly called ‘gori mem’ Asked what she feels about it as she is being classified on the basis of color only, the actress replied that she doesn’t mind being called that as long as they aren’t saying they will prefer her just because of her color. Soumya also revealed that she lost an International film to another actress who was not fair.
Earlier, Bipasha Basu shared her life story about how she broke skin color conventions. In a powerful post, she recalled how she was called ‘darker’ and ‘dusky’ when she was young but she accepted her skin color with grace. She wrote, “From the time I was growing up I heard this always,”Bonnie is darker than Soni.She is little dusky na?“Even though my mother is a dusky beauty and I look a lot like her.I never knew why that would be a discussion by distant relatives when I was a kid. Soon at 15/ 16 I started modelling and then I won the supermodel contest … all newspapers read … dusky girl from Kolkata is the winner.I wondered again why Dusky is my first adjective ???”
“Then I went to New York and Paris to work as a model and I realised my skin colour was exotic there and I got more work and attention because of it. Another discovery of mine:) Once I came back into India and film offers started… and finally I did my first film and from an absolute Ajnabee to Hindi film industry …I suddenly was accepted and loved. But the adjective stayed which I started liking and loving by then.DUSKY girl wows the audiences in her debut film. In most of my articles for all the work I did,my duskiness seemed to be the main discussion.. it attributed to my sex appeal apparently.And sexy in Bollywood started getting accepted widely.I never really understood this… To me sexy is the personality not just the colour of your skin…why my skin colour only sets me apart from the conventional actresses at that time.But that’s the way it was.I didn’t really see much of difference but I guess people did.”
On Thursday, Hindustan Unilever said that it will drop the word “fair” from its skin-lightening cream Fair & Lovely. Netizens supported the step and were all praise for them to take a stand.
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