Juhi Pande

Television presenter and writer

Q How much have you actually thought about the colour of your skin?
A I only think of the color of my skin when I go swimming. I get a bizarre gray tan every time I swim in the sun and that bothers me. If I tanned an even darker brown I would love it. Instead my skin embraces patchy gray.

 

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 wouldn’t call it discrimination, but as a child I was called names at a stage when kids are cruel. I’m pretty sure I called a lot of children ugly and they called me ‘Kali mai’. It never bothered me.

 

Q Do you feel like there’s still a hierarchy of beauty based on skin shades?
A I’m quite certain there is, in very subtle ways, but fortunately I have never faced it myself. I have heard stories, though.

 

Q Ever been on the receiving end of ways to lighten your skin?
A Oh yes! All the time. It’s very amusing.

 

Q Your prediction: is this obsession with fair skin is going to wane?
A It has to. There are cracks in the ‘white brigade’ system that are starting to show. It will take time, but I think people will realize the absurdity of their ways. It’s skin color for crying out loud. Get it over. Let’s focus on colonizing Mars instead.