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Sanjay Leela Bhansali To Make A Movie On Colour Discrimination, But Will It Really Change Bollywood’s Fair Skin Obsession?

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I have a dusky skin tone and if I were being honest, I love the colour on me. That, however, is not the usual Indian consensus when it comes to their preference of skin colour. Having been fed and raised on superficial standards of beauty, it has been difficult for more than half of the country’s population to accept their darker skin tone. But looks like Sanjay Leela Bhansali is set to change the narrative with his new movie.

There are talks in town about how Bhansali, who is known for delivering one of the best kinds of cinema in the industry, is all set to take up the bull by its horns, by making a movie that highlights the prevalence of discrimination on the basis of one’s colour. The obsession over lighter skin isn’t limited to the Femina Miss India Beauty Pageant, we see it with beauty brands, and even among our friends and family. So this is definitely a burning topic that begs for attention.

A source close to the filmmaker-producer told Mid-Day, “Bhansali is keen to launch a fresh face with the film to make it more relatable. He is in talks with a few directors, but hasn’t zeroed in on one yet.” He further added, “The protagonist, an ambitious achiever, is still able to hold her own and victoriously beat all odds. The movie will be a slice of life and will be a subtle take on the beauty industry and how it encourages consumers to believe that lighter skin tone leads to better opportunities in life.”

And while we do really appreciate the gesture and attempt at tackling the social dysfunction caused by colourism, we can’t help but wonder if it would really change anything. Don’t get us wrong, we acknowledge that it is the little steps that ultimately lead up to the big leap, and with several actors like Sai Pallavi turning down crores worth of fairness cream endorsements to promote originality, there seems hope for change here too. Especially at the hands of Sanjay Leela Bhansali who is known to deliver just the right kind of messages with his movies.

But we still wouldn’t want to bet a lot on it, considering that Bollywood’s obsession with fair skin is all pervasive, and it might take a little more than one movie to keep the dialogue around  it open and active. But hey, maybe this is a great start after all!


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