‘Beauty beyond color’
In May, Das became the face of the Dark is Beautiful campaign, launched in 2009 by activist group Women of Worth to celebrate “beauty beyond color”.
Her backing has helped to generate increasing debate in the media, but the response has underlined just how ingrained the preference is for fairer skin, which has long been associated with higher social classes and castes.
“I started getting tonnes of emails from young women pouring their heart out about how they were discriminated against. Some wanted to commit suicide because they couldn’t be fair,” she said.
Das found her own photograph had been lightened by a newspaper even for a feature on the campaign. When looking for a nanny, she was told one candidate was “good, but quite dark”.