An international fashion and lifestyle magazine recently got talking to celebrity divas about the colour of their skin and what role it has to play in their idea of beauty, diversity and identity. Bollywood actor Priyanka Chopra, YouTube superstar Lilly Singh and Model turned TV host Padma Lakshmi also featured in the long list of female celebrities, and what they had to say will have you nodding in agreement.
Priyanka Chopra, Actor[My skin] is as complicated as I am. When I was growing up, I didn’t see anyone on television who looked like me. Initially companies didn’t have colours that matched Asian or Indian skin. Because I’m darker, I had issues as a teenager, society pressure that a girl is prettier if she’s lighter. Pressures exist, and it’s on us to make those pressures not seem important to girls. I’ve achieved what I’ve achieved and skin colour has nothing to do with it. In fact, it might have been an asset. I like the colour of my skin very much. It’s so primitive to me that people are judged on the basis of the colour of their skin. I mean, it’s skin. We all have it.Lilly Singh, digital creator, Superwoman and authorThe last time someone made me feel bad about my skin, would be every single comment I get about my face makeup not matching my neck. It’s something I get on YouTube. Maybe if more foundation matched my skin tone, haters would slow their roll.Padma Lakshmi, author, actress, host, and executive producer of Top ChefMy skin is a map of my life. Before high school, I lived in a white suburb of Los Angeles, where there were so few Indians, that they didn’t even know the ‘correct’ slurs. They called me the N-word or ‘Blackie.’ For a long time I hated my skin colour. Even in India, there’s a complicated history. My grandmother discouraged us from going in the sun; she didn’t want us to be dark. We were only allowed to play outside after 4:30 pm. There was a cosmetics line called Fair & Lovely — that says it all. [And] when I started to work as a model, people would on occasion say things to me like, ‘You’re so pretty for being an Indian.’ I’ve gotten to a place where I have a much broader feeling, that I’m beautiful because I’m accepted in the culture. I scar very badly. You can see every scrape, cut, and burn, mine don’t go away... but I’m very thankful for my skin. I’m very tactile. Cooking is as much about touch as it is about taste. I can feel if something is done just by touch. That sense of touch has shaped my sensuality.
More power to you girls.