Fair equals lovely. This misguided notion has been badgered into our heads for ages — from that aunt who endorsed the idea to the TV screen blaring in your house.
Tannishtha Chatterjee, who experienced the colour bias firsthand, is horrified. The actress found herself being ridiculed for her skin tone while shooting for Comedy Nights Bachao Taaza, where she went to promote Parched with her co-star Radhika Apte and director Leena Yadav.
Not willing to put up with the crass style of comedy, Chatterjee stormed (rightly, we’d say) off the sets.
While the actress recounted the nightmarish experience on the comedy show in a long post on her Facebook page, Chatterjee also had a Facebook live chat with Firstpost where she put forth her views.
According to Chatterjee, the very fact that TV artistes targeted her skin tone believing they were being funny, reflects the deep bias in our country.
“This is a larger issue of confidence in ourselves as a nation. That’s why I thought it is important to talk about. Why do we not think dark skin is beautiful? Why do we only think fair skin is beautiful? It’s 2016, I can’t believe we’re having this conversation in 2016. If we don’t take pride in how we look, how will we have the confidence to move ahead as a country?”
She went on to add, “I have seen the bias existing everywhere — from your receptionist to the people in front desks in newsrooms, it’s almost like looking pretty is a mandatory. Are you telling me one’s hard work, talent, education doesn’t give him/her the confidence that fair skin tone does?”
Talking about the show, Chatterjee explained that she is all for a roast — but one that is done in the right spirit. “I was also told the roast is going to be Indian style, and halka phulka. To my horror, I found out that the only thing they were making fun of was my skin colour.”
She added, “The idea of a roast is to make fun of some achievements and in doing so, you’re actually cheering for it. I even explained it to the show’s team but they didn’t get it.”
The Parched actress stressed that it’s time to celebrate the Indian skin tone — light or dark, irrespective. “We’ve celebrated actresses like Smita Patil and Nandita Das. We should celebrate these things and get rid of ideas that only fair is beautiful. I have never used a fairness cream. And the actresses who are endorsing fairness creams, I want to tell them, please reflect on what you’re doing.”
Watch the whole video here: