Our society is full of different notions when it comes to defining beauty. We are either too fair, too dark, too skinny, too curvy, the list of “flaws” is endless. To add to this, our entertainment industry has been stereotyping and setting unrealistic expectations of beauty since as long as we can remember and promoting these notions even more.
Bollywood songs often use words like gori, chitti, goriya as compliments and the discrimination based on skin colour has ingrained so deep that often fair-skinned actresses are cast to play the role of dark-skinned women on-screen. While there are a lot of examples of how fair complexion is often categorised as the superior skin colour in the entertainment industry, to say that fair-skinned actors have had it easier might also be unfair.
Recently, Dia Mirza opened up about her struggles in the industry and how she has been rejected for certain roles on the basis of her skin colour. “I think any stereotype and preconceived notions are not good. The way I look has been a disadvantage for me in my acting profession many a times. I have lost a job and not been cast in a part because I look too good. It is a strange disadvantage,” she shared in an interview.
The Rehna Hai Tere Dil Mein actress said that she understands that colourism affects everyone and even dark-skinned actors have their own struggles. She added, “I may be sounding very ungrateful. But because of the colour of my skin I am at a disadvantage. As much as I know and am acutely aware of the fact that darker complexioned women have it hard as well. But there is a certain type of cinema I love. I love the thinking cinema but the stereotypes attached to the thinking cinema and women who play those parts are so limiting. But finally things are looking up so I am not complaining.”
Dia is not the only actress who has voiced her concern over the blatant discrimination in Bollywood. Earlier, Kriti Sanon also revealed in an interview that she had been rejected several times because she looked ‘too good to be real’. She said, “There were also times when I met a few people who told me that something was not right about me — someone told me, ‘You’re too good-looking. There has to be some sort of imperfection in you to look real on screen.’ I think I did feel low, but at the same time, I did have people who believed in me a lot.”
Sadly, the reality is that our society has long believed in the notion that only fair-skin is beautiful. A lot of times, these stereotypes seep into our subconscious even when we don’t want them to. While Dia’s statements make complete sense that stereotypes are bad in every manner, her mentioning that it is somehow ‘strange’ for her to get rejected because she’s fair-skinned reeks of vanity. We would just like to point out that it is strange to get rejected on the basis of skin colour -- regardless of what the skin colour is. Also, one should neither feel grateful nor ungrateful for the skin colour they’re born with as it is the most natural thing ever!
It is high time that the entertainment industry and society start acknowledging actors and individuals on the basis of their talent and not on the colour of their skin.
Feature Image: Instagram