When Priyanka was thought to be 'too dark' for Miss India
New Delhi: Actor Priyanka Chopra was not the obvious choice for the Miss India title 18 years ago as one of the jury members felt her complexion was "too dark", says a new book on the star who turned 36 today.
Then 17, Priyanka took part in the beauty contest from Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh and emerged as the runner-up – Femina Miss India World 2000.
Lara Dutta was crowned Femina Miss India Universe, while the second runner-up Dia Mirza won the Femina Miss India Asia Pacific title.
In 'Priyanka Chopra: The Incredible Story of a Global Bollywood Star', Pradeep Guha, one of the mentors of the contestants for that year's contest, remembers how one of the jury members was uncertain about Priyanka.
"Not everybody in the jury was initially in favour of her. One person mentioned she's too dark," he recalls, without naming the jury member. The contestants faced a range of celebrity judges – actors Shah Rukh Khan, Juhi Chawla and Waheeda Rehman, cricketer Mohammed Azharuddin, among others.
Priyanka has managed to carve an international career and is one of the most re cognisable Indian faces.
She has spoken about facing 'racisim' even within her "Punjabi family".