Priyanka Chopra

Priyanka Chopra: In India, ‘you’re prettier if you’re fairer… I’m, like, dusky’

chopra2 - Priyanka Chopra: In India, ‘you’re prettier if you’re fairer… I’m, like, dusky’

On how she appeals to everyone:

Kids from all over—not just Indians—come talk to me. I met this Dominican girl the other day who said, ‘Everyone tells me that I look like you.’ She gave me a hug, and said, ‘You gave me the strength to stand up onstage and give a presentation in school on where I came from.’ 

On the time when she first got attention for her looks:

After 15… it was great for my ego. Before 15, I had a lot of self-esteem issues. I was very conscious of the color of my skin. I was very conscious of being, like, a super-gawky, skinny teenager.

On being self-conscious about her skin color:

[In] India, because there, you’re prettier if you’re fairer…. I’m, like, dusky. A lot of girls who have a darker skin hear things like, “Oh, poor thing, she’s dark. Poor thing, it’ll be hard for her.” In India they advertise skin-lightening creams: “Your skin’s gonna get lighter in a week.” I used it [when I was very young]. Then when I was an actor, around my early twenties, I did a commercial for a skin-lightening cream. I was playing that girl with insecurities. And when I saw it, I was like, “Oh sh-t. What did I do?” And I started talking about being proud of the way I looked. I actually really like my skin tone.

On stereotypes:

I did not want to be the stereotype of either Bollywood or what Indian actors are [usually offered]. The exotic, beautiful girl, or the academically inclined nerd. And I wanted to play a lead…. And I’m playing an FBI agent on Quantico. I didn’t settle for less.

On how she can call herself “exotic” but others can’t:

Right. We can call ourselves that. You can’t call us that. When somebody else calls you exotic, exotic is a box—it’s the stereotype of snake charmers and face jewelry. You’re just that stereotype. But I don’t get offended anymore. I used to get offended by things that were said to me, or how I was seen. Now I educate. If I get pissed off, I’ll educate in a sassy way. Other times I educate in a Gandhi-like way. You know—I have my moods.

… says Priyanka in Glamour.

 

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29 Comments on "Priyanka Chopra: In India, ‘you’re prettier if you’re fairer… I’m, like, dusky’"

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Frigga
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Frigga
Can’t say much for her acting (haven’t seen her shows/movies), but she surely is a beauty. Her body looks great on the cover photo. Sometimes she comes off a bit cocky, but I think she is actually pretty confident. She knows she’s pretty, doesn’t deny it, but doesn’t overdo it IMO. As for the last part of the interview, she is right about being called exotic. When white people tell me how ‘exotic’ looking I am, I cringe. It’s borderline creepy. And I am not the only Asian to think so, for damn sure. I also appreciate her lack of… Read more »
Lina
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Lina

Oh ok, will she really pull the ” insecure skinny teen” card? Don’t get me wrong, she’s a beauty but pretty far from that body type, she’s curvier than most people with “skinny issues” and saying stuff like that makes her look desperate

Tiina
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Tiina
I don’t know. I’ve also started to side-eye these “bohoo, I was unattractive/sad/bullied as a child/teen” types, but maybe they need to be given the benefit of a doubt. Priyanka Chopra isn’t skinny now, but she was pretty small when she came to the public eye and has gotten softer year by year. Maybe that has been the way since she was on her teens, which would’ve made her really skinny in her teens. But skinny or not it’s completely possible she felt unattractive and gawky in her early teens. Especially since she’s quite tall for an Indian woman by… Read more »
Lina
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Lina

that may be true, but I’m just so sick of these crying babies, it’s almost as if they’re subliminally screaming “look at me now, I’m recognized as hot and you should feel bad not wanting me/considering me hot before”.
I don’t think I have ever heard a successful celebrity saying “I had a pretty decent/normal/good life before becoming famous”, so this need of being labeled as the underdog-turned-victorious is so annoying. I sometimes wonder if the managers handle out scripts to their clients with these bs lines.

Rita_7
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Rita_7
Wait what! The word “exotic” is/was offensive! Says the girl who has a music video called “exotic” LOL.. I think it’s a compliment! I don’t think it has any negative connotations to it.. does it? English is not my first language.. so I can’t see how it could be taken offensively.. I actually think she’s pretty.. I mean she was Miss India and Miss world ! I watched few episodes of quantico cuz I wanted to see her.. but OMG! It was like a rip of how to get away with murder, FBI style.. and really offesnsive (as a Muslim… Read more »
Lillaliket
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Lillaliket

Well, I can see how it can be kinda “othering” if you hear it all the time, like, reinforcing that she is different.

Agatha
Guest
Agatha

Exactly. Thanks for understanding.

Annie
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Annie

I always have a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that some cultures prefer skin as light as possible. Mine is as white as it gets and people around here comment negatively on it all the time (“You look disgusting”, “Eww, do you even go outside?”, “Pale skin is unhealthy and gross”, etc.). Obviously, this is (by far) not as bad as being told to literally bleach your skin, but skintone shaming in general is a terrible thing to do.

cam
Guest

no point in trying to please the idiot masses. people are so uneducated they still think tanning is healthy lol.

Erica
Guest
Erica

How so? Cultures throughout the world prefer lighter skin to darker skin. In China, tanned Chinese people represent poorer workers who have to work outside. In India, it’s similar, with skin lightening creams and auntie’s/mom’s talking down on their dark skinned children (especially daughters). Understandably, you’re speaking about your specific experience but it’s difficult to swallow when it’s not embedded in deep rooted racism and discrimination.

cam
Guest
What you’re talking about isnt racism. chinese people preferred light skin before any european influence. some beauty standards are biologically ingrained like clear skin and facial symmetry and then are weird cultural things that are just so arbitrary and stupid. and cultural standards always have to of with one thing– wealth vs poor. think— in societies where food is scarce being plump( not obese) means wealth. in socities where the working class is out in the sun paleness means wealth. in our society a tan means you have the time and money to go get a fake tan or the… Read more »
Annie
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Annie

In central Europe it’s the opposite. Tanned skin, to many people, means you can afford to spend lots of time outside and go on vacation regularly (like SPF doesn’t exist), fake tan and sunbeds are as popular as ever. It’s not just my personal experience, pale-shaming is quite common, although obviously not at all comparable to racism (didn’t even want to imply that!). Anyways, the point I originally wanted to make was that it seems to be a “the grass is always greener on the other side” kind of thing, which is really sad.

Agatha
Guest
Agatha
Not the same at all… people won’t shoot at you because how light you are nor they would reject you from a job because of how pale you’re. Marketing and beauty ideals from all over the world revolve around light skin. You have plenty of good options on makeup, unlike black people. You can get a tan… people of color can’t stop being themselves. I KNOW, those comments about pale skin are rude, mean and suck on their own, but to put them in the same category as the rejection towards darker skin is ignorant. One has to do with… Read more »
Annie
Guest
Annie

I explicitly stated in both of my previous comments that I DO NOT think it’s the same AT ALL. Please don’t put those words in my mouth.

Agatha
Guest
Agatha
I acknowledged that. You talked about how you don’t get the ideal since you also get negativity. Then you said you don’t want to compare it to racism but you repeated your idea of “the grass is always greener on the other side” (nope, this is not a case of that and I already explained why). You’re diminishing the struggles of dark people when you say that. Even if you say you see differences you still make comparisons like they’re on the same level, that’s what I meant with “they’re not the same at all”. I didn’t want to put… Read more »
Guest
Alyssa Mohino

There is the right kind of fair/light and then wrong kind of fair.
Being too fair, freckles, or albino is not idealized

Agatha
Guest
Agatha

Agreed on everything. As a Mexican, I’m not super thrilled when people like to point out how “exotic” I look and how “different” I look. I try to take it as a compliment because it often comes from good people but I would appreciate it more if they didn’t categorize “beauty” and “exotic” (a.k.a. Not white). I don’t know. It’s a bit intrusive also. And when racist people on the street also yell things at you about how different you look, then the frequent comments that come from good people are even less tolerable.

cam
Guest

im mexican too and I’m fine when people say i look exotic. looking different a plus to me, the last thing i ever want to do is look like everybody else. whats the point of that? as far as I’m concerned being average is NOT something i ever aspire to. nobody every looks twice at a white woman who is 5’4 135 lbs wearing her ann taylor cotton t shirt. yawn.

Agatha
Guest
Agatha
Yeah, well, that’s like, your opinion, man. Haha. We probably have different experiences and views on life. One thing is looking different and enjoying that and a different thing is being frequently singled out in moments when you don’t even want to. I think that’s why Priyanka thinks it’s ok when you call yourself that and not so much otherwise. It’s a small step between calling someone “exotic” and putting them in a box, stereotype, racism. When I received that comment, it frequently came with some more that are stereotypes or intrusive. To me, it’s tiresome to be frequently reminded… Read more »
cam
Guest

i get you, theres an exoticism fetish in this country. which is odd considering the xenophobia and ignorance of other cultures. people think mexico= tacos and curvy latinas oh and everybody in latin america is mexican. people in this country are afraid to travel and of course are also uneducated so they really dont know anything. ironically the “patriots” usually dont know jack about their own country either.

claud
Guest
claud

she certainly doesn’t have to worry about being type casted as the “academically inclined nerd”… or gandhi for that matter. girl needs to check her ego. there’s a huge difference between confidence and narcissism.

herpderp
Guest
herpderp

I agree with you. I’m not feeling this woman. There’s something that just rubs me the wrong way.

Stellar
Guest
Stellar

Yep, I’m there with you.
And what’s with the ‘I’m dark skinned o I can empathise’. Dark skinned? She’s not dark skinned she’s light/ fair for her culture. Girlfriend is delusional. She was cast as fair skinned for a skin lightening product that she now disavows; they wouldn’t have cast her if she were considered ‘dark’ unless he was the ‘before’, which I doubt.
She thinks people are stupid, so she just says anything. Or perhaps she’s worried that she was outed as a pusher of dubious skin lighting products with their attendant skin colour shaming.
Ugh, go away.

Sheza
Guest
Sheza

While i agree she comes across as narcissistic generally she is indeed considered dark skinned in Bollywood. light skinned actresses are much fairer than her – kareena kapoor and katrina kaif for example. She’s often referred to as “dusky”. And yes she was the before in a few skin lightening ads in which she doesnt get the guy until she used the cream to make herself fairier.

kennedy
Guest
kennedy

same in Mexico I literally don’t get when people want to be tan , if you are tan aka not white or caucasian they call you “low class skin”

Kbr
Guest

It must be just me, everyone says how pretty she is but I don’t find her pretty at all. I’m one of the luckier ones, I’m Filipino Australian with olive-brown skin and here in Oz majority people love tanned skin. As a kid I hated being different and kind of singled out if anyone asked my nationality but now it doesn’t bother me, I like having a different look.

Frigga
Guest
Frigga

I have had the same problem, being singled out for looking different as a kid, but now I appreciate and love it.

cam
Guest

she’s not. she was with adriana lima and looked like a muppet next to her. well the masses always praise average looking women so I’m not surprised.

hello kitty kitty
Guest
hello kitty kitty

All I see when I look at her is a botched nose job and those hideous brown contact lenses she always wears.

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