In India, the concept of beauty is often intrinsically intertwined with color. The fairer you are, the prettier you are.
This thinly-veiled colourism doesn't remain as thinly-veiled with advertisements of targeted advertisements: 'Fair and Lovely,' and home-remedies which 'remove the tan naturally,' tell you that dark isn't beautiful. But not just advertisement, this actually stems from cultural beliefs.
Nandita Das, the Bollywood director and actress, is associated with Chennai-based NGO, Women of Worth, advocates for colour neutrality and discourages discrimination based on skin colour.
In a video, she addresses the issue that appears to remain unchanged over decades.
"As many people as there are in India, there's as many colors. But we don't change," she starts the video.
Following this is a rant, pop-lyrical song where various celebrities like Radhika Apte, Ratna Pathak Shah, Swara Bhaskar, Vikrant Massey, Ali Fazal and Shahshank Arora make an appearance.
"We've seen you make fun of colour," they sing.
The video breaks it down into smaller skits accompanied by rap, to show how "Dark girl is fine for a date," but to marry, "you need a fair one."
"Don't drink tea, you'll have dark skin" or "Don't go out in the sun, you'll look dusky." The video is nuanced by things which you have probably heard multiple times in your life.
The video highlights just how normalized it is, and how we've become accustomed to it that we don't find a problem with it anymore. The video further states that we need to move away from these misconceptions of colour.
You can watch the full video here.