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‘Pinky Beauty Parlour’: A Film That Asks Why Society Shuns Dark-Skinned Women

Posted by Youth Ki Awaaz in Body Image, Culture-Vulture
December 11, 2016

By Akshay Singh:

As the world progresses towards global development, mankind is still lagging in leaving behind prejudices, intolerance and racism. Unfortunately, in India it has taken deep roots in the form of an obsession with light skin, especially with regards to women. This phenomenon is witnessed across the length and breadth of this vast country. Women with light skin are coveted, envied and considered beautiful and the darker-skinned ones are often shunned, mocked, shamed or considered inferior to their fairer-skinned sisters. The idea behind “Pinky Beauty Parlour” was to bring this demon into the spotlight.

As a filmmaker, I chose to highlight this issue by making​ a film. ​Every form of performing arts is an artist’s expression and films stem from personal experiences. My film is inspired by real life incidents and stories, stories I noticed around me since childhood. How people with darker skin tone were made fun of and not considered beautiful. Someone I know went into depression because she couldn’t get lighter skin even after applying fairness creams and other such stuff. This had left a deep impact on me.

We have learned to discriminate on the basis of colour. We need to unlearn. The mindset has to change. Cinema is one of the most influential mediums to address any issue. The sheer amount of reach and frequency that this medium has, appealed me to manifest my idea here. My film brings home the message that beauty is beyond skin colour. I hope to take this universal message across the world through​ my film.​​#LetsUnlearn is the name of my campaign that we have started on social media. Skin colour bias is something we are taught not born with.

As film makers we come up with a lot of strong social content and love creating cinema that will be appreciated by the masses but the process of an idea getting manifested on to celluloid comes with a lot of obstacles. Creating “Pinky Beauty Parlour” did come with its own set of tasks. We had to face a lot of problems through the filming and the creation process. Since it is a very small budget film, one of the major difficulties was in putting together a young, passionate and a perfect team of cast and crew that could translate my vision on celluloid. So finally, I managed to get the team on board, and the best part was that everyone loved the script and were ready to work doubly hard but since most of the crew members were not very experienced, I had to continuously motivate them to bring out the best in them. We were like proud parents and our child had passed a very difficult exam, which was the feeling we had when the finished product was in our hands.

One of the most difficult tasks we came across was to arrange the funds for making the film. We somehow managed to complete the film with all the savings that I had and all the possible loans that I could take from ​banks and from friends. But completion of the film is only half the job done. I believe a film is complete only when it gets a theatrical release. So to bring my film “Pinky Beauty Parlour” to theatres soon, I have started a crowdfunding​ campaign on Wishberry to collect funds. I think it is a great way of engaging the audience and them making a part of the film as well.