Priyanka Chopra, Lilly Singh and Padma Lakshmi discuss being labelled dark-skinned

Priyanka Chopra, Lilly Singh and Padma Lakshmi open up about being ‘dark-skinned women’ and India’s obsession with fair skin in the April issue of Allure Magazine.

From left to right; Priyanka Chopra, Lilly Singh and Padma Lakshmi.

These Indian celebrities are among the 41 women of colour to be listed in the upcoming issue, joining the likes of Demi Lovato, Jessica Alba and Eva Longoria. Each woman featured tells the story of their lives through their skin and how their skin colour played a part in their perception of beauty and identity.

During the interview, Bollywood and now Hollywood star Priyanka Chopra shared her experience, “(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.”

She added, “Everyone in America wants to get a tan, and everyone in Asia wants to get their skin lightened. I straddle both countries. Girls there are told that they’re too dark or dusky and that lighter skin is better. Because I’m a darker tone, I had issues growing up as a teenager… 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.”

YouTube sensation Lilly Singh has also faced challenges as a result of her complexion, “The 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.”

Model turned TV host Padma Lakshmi also shared her story, “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.”

Let us know your thoughts #BritAsiaTV