Q How much have you actually thought about the colour of your skin?
A A lot when I was younger and that was primarily because I had an older sister who was fair, and popular. She was my idea of perfect.
Q Were you ever subject to “colorism” – any sort of discrimination or singling out as the result of your skin colour? At school, or as a child?
A I have not had any personal experiences, but my daughter (age 5) is dark and gorgeous, while my son (age 8) claims he is “peach” and now she wants to be peach as well. She hasn’t gotten this from me; I love the colour of my skin, and for the most part, I’ve been pretty comfortable in it. We’ve always reinforced that beauty is not determined by the colour of one’s skin.
Q Do you feel like there’s still a hierarchy of beauty based on skin shades?
A Absolutely. Not in the west as much as in Asia: In India, it is associated with colonization, while in other parts of Asia dark skin represents coming from a lower class.
Q Ever been on the receiving end of ways to lighten your skin?
A Not directly, but it’s everywhere, in advertising, through popular skin care brands etc.
Q Your prediction: is this obsession with fair skin is going to wane?
A I think its slowly changing. As soon as we Indians get over this need to emulate the west, especially with the way we look, we will get over our need to be their colour as well. It’s deeply rooted.