Just a day ago, Tannishtha Chatterjee was ‘roasted’ for the colour of her skin on Comedy Nights Bachao Taaza. She posted a strongly-worded statement on Facebook here As wrote about how “Even considering that dark skin is a joke comes from that very deep prejudice. I tried to explain why this is not personal and it is a larger issue about what our mindset is and why cracking jokes about deep biases in our society is irresponsible”.
Many Indian girls shook their heads in agreement. So many of us, including me, have gone through entire childhoods of been called that dark girl, given up wearing pastels and whites because it doesn’t suit our skin tone, had tons of unsolicited advice from homemade concoctions to the latest fairness cream to improve our skin. This when we are within many shades from honey to caramel to wheatish..Yet if you are not fair, your prospects are “dark”.
In a single stroke, she exposed every kind of body shaming we women are subject to and the ridiculous standards we measure ourselves by and find ourselves coming up significantly short, leaving us feeling like a badly finished product!
“Itni lambi, itni kaali Shaadi kaun karega?” It confirmed that my greatest insecurities were well-founded. Anushka Sharma has been skinny-shamed, Sonakshi Sinha has been fat-shamed, Katrina Kaif has been fit-shamed. These are women who are and always have been staggeringly beautiful.
Most important of all, she gave some really valuable aspirations to all of us.
“So, for every teen girl leaning into her bedroom mirror, wondering why she doesn’t look like a celebrity: Please know that nobody wakes up like this. Not me. Not any other actress.”
“Pursue prettiness for yourself, by your own definitions – not to meet culturally preset notions of flawless. Because flawlessness is a dangerous, high-budget myth, and it’s time we shattered it.”
“Aspire to knowing your body and how to live well in it. Aspire to confidence. Aspire to feeling pretty and carefree and happy, without needing to look any specific way”
Then with the kindness of someone who has been there, come out looking ravishing but remembers the pain, she exhorts us to praise the next teen looking wistful and tell her how beautiful she is. Praise her smile or her laugh or her mind or her gait.
With a pre-teen at home , coming home routinely from school after being teased about her pimples or dark skin tone or her weight, I would like to say Thank You Sonam Kapoor . Thank You for being so candid and not just talking about the past, but ending this on such a kind, easy to do, positive note.
So gals, let’s say it aloud to the next women we meet.. “You are beautiful , just the way you are!”