Divya Dutta Says She Lost A Role For Being ‘Too Fair’. Why Does Bollywood Promote This Stereotype That Urban People Are Fair?
I’ve noticed, that the way the human mind works, we often make associations with things that we keep coming in contact with. But that is just the way our mind is wired to work. The way the society works however, is a little different and possibly, a little flawed. It doesn’t make associations as much as it makes assumptions, and then stereotypes people. And Bollywood is not any different. Time and again, reducing women to glamorous props to now discriminating against a certain section of the society, Bollywood stops to check how blatantly discriminatory certain tings are.
We are talking about this today because actress Divya Dutta opened up about how she has lost roles in films because get this, she was ‘too fair’. In a candid interview with Hindustan Times, the actress was questioned about her take on how casting is done in Bollywood, she said, “It’s not about who is playing it, it’s how you play it. The film you mentioned, if something was questionable, it was makeup and VFX. I once lost a role because I was told I am fair. They were looking for a village woman who is darker. They told me ‘you suit the role completely’. I asked ‘then why am I not doing it?’ They replied ‘you are too fair for the role’.”
Also Read : Yami Gautam Says She Is Glad The Definition Of Beauty Is No Longer Limited To Fair Skin. It’s Funny She Should Say It!
And even though it was the first time we heard an actress getting rejected for being fair, considering Bollywood’s light skin fixation, the reason they gave was equally cringe-worthy. Divya Dutta continued by saying, “I felt a little cheated at not being able to do something because of skin colour. But I am an actor. I was darkened for Delhi 6. I used to go to set at 4 in the morning, mera mazaak udta tha for the call time. I used to take so long to get ready. But here was a director (Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra) who interested me with a role.”
And there it was, the not-so-subtle discriminatory stance of Bollywood in movies. Making absurd associations of equating rich with fair skin and poor with dark skin, Bollywood is perhaps the biggest reason why we as a society and a country of majority of dusky skinned people, are still yearning to be fairer. Be it Hrithik Roshan turned 4 tones darker for his role in the movie Super 30 or Alia Bhatt turned dusky for her stint in Udta Punjab, the moment a role about someone from outside of the city life comes up, the first characteristics that person is given is a dark complexion, because apparently urban people just don’t have enough melanin.
As fucked up, discriminatory and stereotypical as it sounds, it still is very much true and reflects the mindset of the society. Be it men putting out matrimonial ads for women with fair skin or pageants like Miss India and Miss World being so specific about the kind of ‘beauty’ they need, that they all look the same, being fair is treated as better. Somehow in every definition of a superior woman, having a lighter skin tone comes as a pre-requisite. This needs to stop.
A person’s complexion has absolutely nothing to do with their position in the society or how they must be perceived. Black, white, brown, every skin colour is unique in its own and must be celebrated, not typecast into a particular genre, profession or even section. And we are glad Divya Dutta is making that point just right!