Actor Priyanka Chopra has spoken about the hostility she experienced after endorsing skin-whitening creams in India. Priyanka stopped participating in such campaigns after moving to Hollywood.
In a new profile, Priyanka spoke about how normal it is for Indian actors to endorse fairness creams, a topic that she will explore in her upcoming memoir, Unfinished.
She said, "[Skin lightening] was so normalized in South Asia; it's such a large industry that everyone was doing it. In fact, doing it is still a check [mark] when you are a female actor, but it's awful. And it was awful for me, for a little girl who used to put talcum-powder cream on my face because I believed that dark skin was not pretty."
Priyanka's past endorsements resurfaced in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement recently.
She had earlier spoken about deciding to back away from such products in a 2015 interview to journalist Barkha Dutt. "I felt really bad about it, that's why I stopped doing it," she said. "All my cousins are gora-chitta (fair) I was the one who turned out dusky because my dad is dusky. Just for fun, my Punjabi family would call me 'kaali, kaali, kaali'. At 13, I wanted to put fairness creams and wanted my complexion changed," she added.
Unfinished will be released on February 9. The book chronicles Priyanka's childhood, facing racism during her teenage years in the US, winning Miss India and Miss World, and the challenges she faced while navigating a career in Bollywood and Hollywood.
Priyanka most recently appeared in The White Tiger, a Netflix film adaptation of Aravind Adiga's Booker Prize-winning novel. She has commenced filming Citadel, an Amazon Prime Video series, produced by the Russo brothers.