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Davuluri or Katrina, not an innocent choice

That Miss America Nina Davuluri would not be able to become a Bollywood actress because the producer would prefer a fair girl over her due to market demands is giving the market too much credit. Too much credit for being too fair and for acting on forces outside of itself. The market does not work on an already created need, affinity or both but has mechanisms to create its own. ‘If you don’t have an iPhone, well you don’t have an iPhone’ loosely translates to you are a worthless fool if you don’t have an iPhone. Better get one soon or suffer being obsolete.

The market, thus, also creates and perpetuates a natural affinity of Indians to fair skin. It perpetuates it into a need and as something that can make or break your life if you don’t have it. The ‘Fair and Lovely’ ads all do it. And it takes a discerning and rational mind to understand that seriously – you don’t become a successful singer just because you are fair. But the market makes most of us believe this way. Extending the same argument, Katrina Kaif, without any acting talent or skills to deliver dialogues in Hindi whatsoever becomes the number one actress. It is not Katrina’s mistake or of the viewer who loves her dancing on the screen. The choices have been made long ago and the fairness market will leave no stones unturned to maintain them that way. There is serious money in the fairness business and unless women don’t have their lives attached to them, how is the industry going to thrive?

ALSO READ: Dear Miss America, no offences but little reason to blame Bollywood if it doesn’t want to cast you. This is the reason why people need to be allowed to ask Bollywood about why there may not be space for people like Davuluri for being the leading ladies. Why do people have to believe that only a certain complexion/body type is beautiful, or more apt, for the big screen? More importantly, why would more and more people be made to believe that only a certain body type is beautiful, or more apt for the big screen?

People who are voicing their opinion against those who are criticising Nina Davuluri need to do that to maintain spaces that allow for debates on different body images. This debate is needed to balance the powerful forces of the market which, if left to itself, will tilt everyone’s heads to look in the fair direction.

On arrangement with Governance Now

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