Priyanka Chopra, who was born and raised in India, recently opened up to Vogue India about growing up with darker skin compared to her classmates.
She says that in her early teen years she became self-conscious about having dark skin. In India, those with ‘fairer’ skin are considered more beautiful.
Check out an excerpt from her interview below.
MJ: Did you always get a lot of attention [for your looks]?
PC: After 15.
MJ: Did you welcome it?
PC: Oh, it was great for my ego. Before 15, I had a lot of self-esteem issues. I was very conscious of the colour of my skin. I was very conscious of being, like, a super-gawky, skinny teenager.
MJ: You were conscious of your skin colour here, or in India?
PC: India, because there you’re prettier if you’re fairer.
MJ: But you’re not considered fair?
PC: No, dude. I’m, like, dusky.
MJ: I’m several shades darker than you, so to me, you’re fair. What feelings go with the label “dusky”?
PC: A lot of girls with a darker skin hear things like, “Oh, poor thing, she’s dark.” 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 shit. What did I do?” I started talking about being proud of the way I looked. I actually like my skin tone.
You can read her full interview in Vogue India.