After two multinational companies announced their decision to drop the use of words such as 'fair' and 'whitening' from their beauty products, the debate on colour discrimination has revived again. Recently, Bhabiji Ghar Par Hain actress Saumya Tandon opened up on how she lost a lot of work because she was 'too fair'. The actress revealed that another girl, who was not fair, got the offer.
Saumya was quoted by HT as saying, "I lost out on a lot of work because they said 'she is too fair', because they perceive an Indian girl to not be that, she should be 'brown'. A lot of auditions I give abroad, they say 'oh you are fair, Indian girls are not supposed to be that'. I said it's so stereotypical. The world outside perceives the Indian girl to be brown. No wonder why, 99 percent of actors of Indian origin, working abroad as Indians, are shown to be brown. They will not accept any other colour. I have been rejected being told 'you are not brown, so you will not be cast as an Indian."
The actress further added that she lost out on an international film and some other girl, who was not fair, bagged the project. She said, "Photographers take dark models because somehow they feel they are more exotic, or they are going to be better for a saree or Indian jewellery ad, they want that 'Indian-ness', which in their head is brown. It is not fair for girls like us. What about girls from Kashmir, Punjab, they are fair, don't you call them Indian?"
It has to be recalled that on her show BJGPH, the actress is called 'gori mem (fair lady)', when asked if she feels that this is classifying her on the basis of colour, she said that it doesn't, as it is not an abuse, as long as they are not saying that they are preferring her as she is gori. She added that she is gori, and so she is being called so. Saumya also said that many comedy shows make fun of people who are dark or fair, which is also fine, as long as they are not doing it in bad taste.