India’s obsession with fair skin seems to never end, from Bollywood’s obsession with “gore gore gaal” (those fair cheeks) to marriage ads that demand “tall and fair brides.”
The recent revelations that global actress Priyanka Chopra made about the Bollywood industry shocked everyone. Priyanka’s candid conversation with Dax Shepard went viral on social media. Not only has the actress asserted that she was treated as an outsider, but she has also been referred to as a “dusky” actress. By appearing in advertisements for a fairness cream, she also expressed regret for being a part of the “fair is lovely” narrative.
While promoting her upcoming web series, “Citadel,” Priyanka talked about her time in Bollywood. She told Dax Shepard on the Armchair Expert podcast that she was “lightened up with makeup” for some of her movies in the past.
She also revealed that many aspiring actresses had to undergo skin bleaching to get more roles and that success was frequently “unfairly” linked to skin color. She told Shepherd that when she first entered the film industry, if you were fair, you were guaranteed success or casting, but if you were darker—“I’m not even that dark, for darker girls, it was let’s lighten you up.”
Priyanka co-starred with Saif Ali Khan and Neha Dhupia in an advertisement for Ponds cosmetics. She admitted that she was deeply remorseful for appearing in a fairness cream advertisement promoting stereotypes against people with dark skin. She expressed regret, stating that the only reason she appeared in that advertisement was from a large beauty brand, and endorsements of beauty brands were a source of both visibility and income for many female celebrities. She explained in the podcast that a beauty brand heavily influences an actress’ career trajectory.
Priyanka noted that the advertisements she had done for brands that sell fairness creams were harmful. The actress said, “I am a darker-skinned girl, and this guy comes in, and I’m selling flowers, and he comes in, and he doesn’t even look at me” when she was shooting for an advertisement in the middle of the 2000s. “I start using this cream, I get a job, I get the guy, and all my dreams come true,” According to India.com.
Priyanka said the lighting and makeup in movies made her skin look brighter. The actress stated, “There was a song that I still remember” when discussing her film Kismat, in which Bobby Deol starred alongside Priyanka. It was titled Chitti Dudh Kudi, meaning “a girl as white as milk.” I wasn’t that girl, but I played her in the film and was lightened up.
Regarding her professional life, Priyanka Chopra is preparing to release her forthcoming science fiction drama series Citadel with Richard Madden. Six episodes make up the first season, which will air on Amazon Prime Video on April 28. She is also working on Love Again with Celine Dion and Sam Heughan, a Bollywood film with Alia Bhatt and Katrina Kaif called Jee Le Zaraa.