Nandita Das credits parents for not putting insecurity over skin colour in her headtext_fields
Mumbai: Bollywood actor-director Nandita Das said she did not realise how rampant the issue of colourism was until much later in her life because her parents did not put the idea in her head.
Recalling a few incidents from the early days of her career, she said young girls will ask her "ma'am, how come you are so confident despite being dark?" She used to answer that it is because she has never really thought about being dark. "Because I did not grow up with as much of that complex because my parents didn’t put it in my head."
However, going shopping was a different story for Nandita. Speaking to Pinkvilla, she shared something every woman with dark skin is familiar with. "If I go to a shop where there are cosmetics, they will immediately bring out the anti-tan cream and say that it will remove tan. I will tell them that I was born with this tan and will die with this. So please, anything that will make me remotely white, please do not give it to me."
She became the face of the campaign against colourism in 2013 when an organisation called Women of Worth asked her for a quote and a photograph. "We want to talk about colourism and we want you to support it.’ I said sure. I gave it to them, and it suddenly became viral." Even at that point, Nandita said she thought of it as an important but not standalone issue. However, many youngsters, especially women, approached her to speak about the issue. This led her to realise how colourism has devastated their lives and affected their self-esteem.
Nandita is gearing up for the release of her directorial Zwigato.