Actor Priyanka Chopra is done with pretending to be perfect; it’s time to embrace messiness. Priyanka appeared on the Ladies First Podcast hosted by Laura Brown, and spoke about falling prey to unrealistic beauty standards in her youth. More specifically, she admitted to have bought into the ‘equity on lighter skin’.
Priyanka Chopra attracted significant backlash for endorsing a fairness creams some years ago, but has since expressed regret about it. In the podcast, Priyanka said that she reached a point in her life where she simply decided to discard any pretense of being perfect.
“There were so many unrealistic beauty standards. Being ridiculously skinny was one, which I didn’t think about in my 20s, because I had a crazy metabolism at that point, as you do. But more than that, the equity on lighter skin in Asia, for sure. That’s something that I fell for. The fact that you have to be perfect, your face has to be perfect, your hair has to be perfect, you have to dress perfect, speak perfect, you have to have the right opinion on everything, you have to say the right thing. I think that part was the first (time) I kind of was like, ‘Forget it, I’m okay being messy sometimes, and it’s okay.’” she said.
It took a while for this change to come about, she said. But now that she has accepted this as the way forward, she wants this image to spill over to her onscreen performances. She said that she wants to ‘unzip’ the ‘glitz and glamour’ because that’s what she feels boxed in by. Priyanka said that in India, she had the good fortune of working with ‘incredible filmmakers’ and playing ‘a variety of characters.’ She said that she hopes she’s able to do similarly diverse work in Hollywood, as well. But she often finds herself inside a ‘shiny and glittery and pretty’ box. “I want to be a little messy,” she said.
In a Marie Claire profile earlier this year, a regretful Priyanka had said about endorsing fairness creams, “[Skin lightening] was so normalized in South Asia; it’s such a large industry that everyone was doing it. In fact, doing it is still a check [mark] when you are a female actor, but it’s awful. And it was awful for me, for a little girl who used to put talcum-powder cream on my face because I believed that dark skin was not pretty.”
Previously, she had told journalist Barkha Dutt in 2015 that she feels ‘really bad’ about appearing in advertisements for skin lightening creams. “All my cousins are gora-chitta (fair) I was the one who turned out dusky because my dad is dusky. Just for fun, my Punjabi family would call me ‘kaali, kaali, kaali’. At 13, I wanted to put fairness creams and wanted my complexion changed,” she added.