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15 Dusky-Skinned Women Who SOMEHOW MANAGED To Get A Damn Job

WHAT? The media and advertisements have been wrong this whole time???

For as long as any Indian woman can remember, commercials have told us that the path to professional success is paved with fairness creams and bleaches.

And yet... These non-porcelain-pale Indian women seem to have somehow made it??

1. Arundhati Roy

Axel Schmidt / AFP / Getty Images

Despite her dusky skin, Roy became a best-selling, award-winning author. What!???

2. Nandita Das

Vidhi Thakur / Via

Das is the first Indian to have been inducted into the Hall of Fame of the International Women’s Forum. The French government gave her their Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters award as well. MAGIC OR WHAT?

3. Smita Patil

Smita Patil went too early, but not before freaking REIGNING the film industry, as a deep-skinned woman who owned her melanin and was known for it. A postal stamp bearing her very dusky face was issued in 2013. SHOCKING.

4. Bipasha Basu

Str / AFP / Getty Images

Basu has had a 15-years-and-running successful career in Bollywood, and is considered one of the most beautiful women in the industry. But her skin was not fair? HOW DID ALL THIS HAPPEN THEN?

5. Barkha Dutt

Jemal Countess / Getty Images

Dutt is one of the most widely-known journalists from India in the world. She has won several national and international awards, all despite not having the pale skin that the media tells us is necessary for a getting a job.

6. Shabana Azmi

Jewel Samad / AFP / Getty Images

Azmi has won awards for her performances, and been lauded for her philanthropy as a women's rights activist and UN goodwill ambassador. Her contribution to the Indian cinema is momentous, and she's considered a beauty and a legend, her brown skin well intact.

7. Nina Davuluri

Via Michael Loccisano / Getty Images

Davuluri was crowned Miss America for the year 2013, and people were outraged about an Indian (and a dark-skinned one) wrecking European beauty standards, but did that change that she was Miss America? LMAO no. 💅💅 She now advocates and speaks for diversity, gender equality, and the promotion of STEM education.

8. Freida Pinto

David J. Bertozzi / BuzzFeed

Brown beauty Freida Pinto rose to fame after Slumdog Millionaire and has SURPRISINGLY been getting work as an actress quiiite a lot. Almost makes one feel they're looking for talent and not her skin tone? ~MYSTERY~.

9. Mindy Kaling

Macey J. Foronda / BuzzFeed

Mindy Kaling has her own damn show on Fox/Hulu, and is one of the most accomplished Indian-origin women on American TV. And all that happened while the melanin was still on her, CAN YOU BELIEVE IT.

10. Sudha Murthy

Murthy was not only employed in tech, but became a symbol to take inspiration from, for all women in tech. She is a gold medallist engineer, and chairs Infosys Foundation. She's won wayyy to many awards, and written wayyy to many books to keep count. All with the good, good melanin in her.

11. Priyanka Chopra

Jamie Mccarthy / Getty Images

Chopra's extremely successful run in entertainment is not limited to Bollywood. She's reigned Bollywood for years, and is now doing an American TV show, several campaigns, and more Indian films. She also has a singing career, and is the first South Asian person to win a People's Choice Award. All with a touch of natural sun-kiss.

12. Lilly Singh


YouTube superstar Lilly "Superwoman" Singh is a self-made star and millions of women and girls all over the world find inspiration in her. Her brown girl swag is not only unmatched, it is one of her strengths.

13. Kajol


Here's what Kajol looked like when she started her career, and her talent shot her up to fame. She instantly became one of the top actresses of Bollywood, and a symbol of beauty.

14. Indra Nooyi

Remy Steinegger / / Via

PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi rose to the top without stripping her skin of colour, but ads continue to tell you that you won't be considered despite your engineering degree, if you're not literally pink in colour.

15. Dipa Karmakar

Julian Finney / Getty Images

Karmakar is an artistic gymnast who bagged bronze for India at the Commonwealth Games 2014 for India. Then won bronze at the Asian Gymnastics Championships too, among several other achievements. This year she became the first female Indian gymnast ever to get an Olympic berth by achieving a high a total score of 52.698 points, and will be the first Indian gymnast to qualify for the Olympics after 52 years. And she's only 22.


Body Positivity Week is a week of content devoted to exploring and celebrating our complicated relationships with our bodies. Check out more great Body Positivity Week content here.


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