Is the extreme contrast of Indian beauties in Bollywood and Hollywood justified?

What rings in your mind when you hear the names of Katrina Kaif, Anushka Sharma, and Nargis Fakhri? Well, obviously, apart from their acting skills. Fair and unblemished skin, sleek body with abs to envy, and perfectly contoured and sharp features, with a good height to match it, these are the common attributes in these divas of B-Town. In short, unachievable standards of beauty which have been set and fixed by Bollywood, but also the standards that are loved by Indians, for we are a lot obsessed with perfection, even though we may not be so ourselves. On the other hand, if we tell you names like Tannishtha Chatterjee, Parminder Nagra, and Ayesha Dharker, then what will you think? Extremely talented, confident, dark and below average in looks, these are the Indian actresses who serve the purpose of West in portraying Indians in their movies. There too, is a form of extremism, as the West does not believe in portraying extremely beautiful faces as Indians.

The point of bringing these two extreme examples is that Indian beauty is much diverse than the fair and dark standards set by Bollywood and Hollywood respectively. We are pale, we are dark, we are freckled, we have acne, we have marks, we are soft and unblemished, but to put us all in one specific standard of looks, anywhere, is unfair.

Of course there are exceptions to the above. Take for instance Bollywood’s beloved Priyanka Chopra, who is the lead actress of the much loved Hollywood TV Series ‘Quantico’, and has won laurels for the same. The lady is flaunting her dusky colour, and playing the role of Alex Parrish to perfection! Not only that, she will be rocking the negative character in her upcoming movie ‘Baywatch’ with the same panache. Freida Pinto is yet another example who is talented, versatile, and awesome in Hollywood movies, and looks amazing, even though she is not ‘Indian’ in her looks as per Hollywood’s standards. Maybe this will break Hollywood’s streak as they are bringing the ‘beauty’ angle in the portrayal of Indians or Asians in their movies.

Coming back to Bollywood, we have beauties like Sonakshi Sinha, Vidya Balan, Huma Qureshi, to name a few, who came out in the open and refused to fit themselves into the perfect patriarchal version of beauty. They are gorgeous with their curves. Another fine example is that of Kalki Koechlin, the unabashed actress who is striving so hard to break the confining strains of beauty. Her video ‘Unblushed’ is gloriously gorgeous where she comes forward, all pale and full of freckles, sans any makeup, and looks like a goddess.

Indian beauties are not just dark or fair, they are much more than that. We wish we get to see more diverse forms of beauty rather than just flawless fairies parading in envious abs. That is a form of beauty too, and we love these actresses. However, now we wish to see someone like us, someone beyond these shallow and cliché standards of beauty. Hollywood seems to have already taken a step forward. Bollywood, will you follow the suit?