Priyanka Chopra Considered ‘Too Dark’ By One Miss India 2000 Juror, According To New Book.
If we live in a world in which Priyanka Chopra almost didn’t win the Miss India title because she was deemed to be ‘too dark’, what kind of message is this sending out not only to South Asian women, but to all non-Caucasian women?
For many it is shocking to discover that the talented and stunning Priyanka was considered ‘too dark’ by a juror during the Feminina Miss India pageant. Seriously, a judge felt that her skin wasn’t white enough to represent the nation of India, which just so happens to be filled with plenty of brown-skinned folks.
But mention this story to a female with a South Asian background or a woman of colour, and this isn’t shocking – it’s merely another incident of an impossible beauty standard that many of us have battled our whole lives.
When I heard about this, I did not register much surprise, but more a sense of disappointment that even now, someone as beautiful as Priyanka would be singled out for something that is beyond her control.
Historically, the spectrum of brown or black that your skin registers on is an issue that impacts many women of colour.
Even if we as individuals lovingly embrace our melanin levels, there is a strong guarantee that others in our own community will always categorise us as being simply light-skinned or dark-skinned. This very categorisation is dangerous and problematic because the general vibe is that the lighter you are, the more attractive you are.
Light-skin privilege is a very real concept, something that many women of colour will recognise.
You are either light-skinned and given an array of strange compliments such as ‘oh, you’re pretty light for an Asian/black girl’ or singled out with little nuggets such as, ‘I mean you are pretty, even though you’re a bit dark’, and quite often these will be bestowed upon us by our own family members.
If people within our own communities are promoting such ideas – as also evident in Priyanka’s case – then what chance do we as women of colour have when it comes to embracing our own beauty?