Lauding HUL’s move to drop ‘Fair’ from Fair and Lovely, Bipasha Basu on Friday has penned a powerful note recounting her journey as a dusky model turned actor in India. Sharing a news clipping of the decision on her Instagram account, Bipasha shared that she was made to realise her skin colour at a young age.
She wrote that while growing up, she always heard that Bonnie is darker than Soni, she’s a little dusky. Stating that she looks a lot like her mother, who is a dusky beauty, Bipasha said that she never knew why her colour would become a point of discussion among her distant relatives when she was a kid.
Expressing how her skin colour became her adjective, Bipasha shared that when she started modeling at the age of 15- 16, all newspapers read that a dusky girl from Kolkata is the winner. She wondered why Dusky is her first adjective. During her modelling days in New York and Paris her skin colour was considered exotic and got more work and attention because of it, which came as yet another revelation for her.
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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.There was a strong mindset of Beauty and how an actress should look and behave.I was DIFFERENT as it was pointed out. Didn’t really stop me from being and doing all that I loved. Well you see I was confident and proud of who I was from childhood.My skin colour didn’t define me … even though I love it and wouldn’t want it to be any different ever. Many skin care endorsements with loads of money was offered to me in the last 18 years ( some were very tempting)… but I stuck to my principle always. All this needs to stop. This wrong dream that we are selling … that only fair is lovely and beautiful when the majority of the country is brown skinned. It’s a deep rooted stigma. It’s a mammoth step from the brand… and other brands should follow in the same footsteps soon🙏
Even after she made her debut film, the adjective stayed with her. Most of the articles around her work, also mentioned her duskiness and it seemed to be the main discussion. Bipasha said that there was strong perception in Bollywood on how an actress should look and behave like. She was ‘different’ and it got pointed out. However, she did not let her skin colour define her. The actress has also revealed in the article that many skin care endorsements were offered to her, which promised loads of money but she always stuck to her principle.
The actress further urged everyone to stop selling the dream that only fair is beautiful and hoped other brands follow the suit.