We see pictures of beautiful women all around us, be it on Instagram, Twitter, on billboards and hoardings, or even your T.V. screens.
For a very long time in our history beauty has followed the concept of fair and lovely, having a light complexion, without even a trace of a scar or a blemish was the painstakingly difficult standard women were forced to achieve.
For the past few years, however, the Indian market seems to be changing. Women of all skin tones, scarred or unscarred, are now being accepted and encouraged.
With several fashion weeks seeing dusky models taking to the ramps, various advertisements confidently featuring women with the so-called “imperfect” skin, and celebrities and influencers raising their voices for the cause with social movements like #nofilter and #nomakeup, more and more young girls across the country are now optimistic to set foot in formerly unapproachable industries.
Here are a few young women who made a mark in the industry while standing strong in support of this new and liberating concept of beauty.
Sowmya Thanam, Model
Being a model is never easy, but being a coloured model is twice the effort. There are many times when my clients tried to change the way I look.
They used to want to make me look a shade or two lighter, and in the beginning, I didn’t say anything thinking that I won’t get any more modelling opportunities. But, as time went by, I started standing up for myself.
Once I was called down for an audition by a Modelling agency. Everything was going on well until the lady told me that I had to get a ‘fairness treatment’ because dusky models aren’t really models.
I walked out of there that very second and never looked back. Thankfully, it’s not the same anymore. People are starting to realise how there are different forms of beauty. Now, the industry is more accepting of people who look different, speak different, and have different features.
We still have a long way to go, but we have already achieved so much. My tips for maintaining healthy skin would be for people who love junk food like me, which can be problematic when it comes to skin. Thankfully, I was blessed with good skin. But I keep myself hydrated and moisturise my skin whenever I can.
I am more of natural look kind of person. So, I don’t wear makeup often. With my skin tone, it’s not easy to find the right foundation. My go to foundation is Fit me 330 Toffee and I’m more inclined towards dark coloured lipsticks.
Even in 2019, there still are hypocrites who treat dark skinned women like dust. Even now when I walk into any beauty or skincare store, they suggest me FAIRNESS creams and face washes first. I don’t even ask.
We need to educate women about colourism and double standards. Personally, however I haven’t faced any issues. Since I use only my brain and voice, my looks don’t really matter.
May be some people are biased about my appearance, because it’s unconventional, but I never faced problems particularly because of my colour. One thing I want to tell any girl aspiring to make a mark in the industry is, always strive to be the best version of yourself, no one else’s, and keep working without expecting immediate results. I don’t do much to maintain good skin.
I have a big appetite and involuntarily drink a lot of water. I’m more of a home remedies person. I experiment with fruits, vegetables and natural ingredients at home whenever I want to pamper myself. And I’ve never been keen about makeup on myself. I’m just a liner-and-lipstick girl.
My mum is my beauty doctor and I consider what she recommends. Recently she suggested me a beauty box from MARCUS SPURWAY. I love it.
Bhawana Nilap, Actor
I am a dusky person. This colour in the film industry is a huge issue. But the modelling industry sees it as something beautiful and desirable. The restrictions in the film industry made me feel suffocated, but the modelling industry felt open and free. When I became Miss Fresher at my college, many people questioned, “How did she do it?”
That girl is so dusky, there are so many girls who are fairer than her.” It didn’t matter to me. Because in the end I was the one standing there, successful. And they were left standing behind me and talking about me.
So, if anyone wants to enter either the modelling or film industry now shouldn’t feel discouraged at all. The times are changing, and so are the people. For healthy skin I would suggest lots and lots of water and a fruit-induced diet.
I don’t really use any products when I’m not on set. I think limiting your usage of make-up and letting your skin breathe is a great way to maintain healthy skin.
Model, Interior Designer
In the world of social media where everything’s perfect, as a model we really struggle to “Fit in”. Back in 2016, I was really chubby and due to my height (I’m 5’4) my insecurities really started to kick in. Last year, I suddenly had break outs due to an unhealthy lifestyle which also pushed me towards depression. And no skin care seemed to help.
I’ve come to a realisation if you don’t feel good from the inside then it’s surely going to be seen from the outside. To all the women out there who are insecure of the way look, just speak up, believe in yourself and trust your inner voice. Don’t let anyone talk you out of what you know to be true.
Eating and sleeping on time is so important, especially for women because we tend to get health issues sooner. Coming to the industry, I think we’re now in a modern era where dark is beautiful and colourism has become such a high fashion. Honestly, I’m so jealous of those girls who are out there with dusky skin, it’s so divine. And how they carry themselves is even more irresistible. We all have different skin types. My skin is usually very dry and sensitive.
I don’t have a skin care routine but I always keep myself moisturized. I prefer home-remedies over products. I stick to my diet where I eat lots of raw boiled veggies, fruits and drink lots of water and 30 minutes of yoga or exercise is a must.
Raseeka Arul Kumar, Model
People approach me through my Instagram profile and on my Instagram there’s not really a lot of pictures of me as my real self, they’re all mostly pictures where my face is covered in makeup and nothing is really visible,
so when they do look at me in real life they do say things like you have a lot of marks on your face and they do wonder how to manage it, but I think at the end of the day makeup and editing really manages the problem. I think the industry will, however, grow to accept it more because some people have already started doing that.
They believe scars are a part of you and you shouldn’t be hiding them. Though few people have joined the bandwagon, I think it will reach a point where more people will believe in this. To have healthy skin, stick to the basics.
Eat well, sleep well and moisturise. Do what works for you and not what is trending or popular.The brand that usually works for me is Maybelline, so most of my products are Maybelline, but like I said, one should choose what works best for them.
Fanny Gandhi, Model
This was a major issue a long time back, but people are now understanding that beauty doesn’t come in one colour. I have seen so many dark coloured models ruling the industry. Khoudia Diop is one of my fav models, who was bullied for her dark colour.
Now, she is the queen of modelling. While I have faced many problems in my modelling stint, none of them were because of my skin or my colour.
And I hope I do not face them in future. As a kid I always thought modelling is something which is not made for the normal girls. You know, you have to be that drop-dead gorgeous girl with a perfect figure and height to be a model.
It always attracted me towards itself, but I did not have guts to be one. But when I entered college, I saw myself amidst pretty women from different backgrounds, breaking all the stereotypes made me think that I can also be a part of it.
And seeing those ladies, just as normal as me, made me think if they can do it, so can I. My skincare routine is majorly to drink lots of water. I try to drink at least 1 bottle of water every hour. I avoid junk food, eat more fruits and salads and green vegetables.
I try to use less chemicals on my skin so I don’t really have a go-to product. One thing I can say for sure is do not try new products on your skin. First read about it. See if it gives any side effects to your skin or not.
Bahaar Gupta, Model
I started modelling pretty recently and so far, I must say, my journey has been smooth sailing. When I initially started getting offers, I couldn’t really pose well, but eventually I learnt. I have so far not faced any issues be it related to my colour or any issue like breakouts or acne.
So, I believe things have definitely changed. While some people choose to stay in the age-old mentality of fair is beautiful and a model should be “perfect”, most people have moved on. If I had to advice someone on how to maintain good skin, I would definitely suggest washing your face three times a day and drink a lot of water and eat more and more fruits.
I swear by a few products and stick to them. Lakme Absolute perfect radiance night cream before sleep, and Lakme Absolute skin gloss for everyday use. MCaffeine Naked and Rich Choco body butter works wonders as a moisturiser.
Finally, I really trust Biotique Botanicals’ under-eye cream to prevent eye bags. But of course, people should make sure any product suits them before trying it.