Fair and Handsome', 'White Beauty', 'Fair and Lovely'.
A quick survey of India's cosmetic industry betrays our 'darkest' secret: Indians favour fair complexion in a huge way.
Need further proof? Scour a list of matrimonial advertisements in vain to find just one proclaiming 'Very dark, very beautiful.'
But hold on. Who decided that dark and dusky can't be beautiful?
Vogue Italia, a magazine considered by many to be among the world's foremost voices on high fashion, is celebrating the unique beauty of dark-skin in its upcoming July issue. Steven Meisel -- one of the fashion industry's most successful photographers -- and a platoon of the world's most beautiful dark-skinned models combined their talents to produce the groundbreaking issue, which features only dark-centric photo shoots and features.
In India too, despite the supposed setback of possessing a dark complexion, many of our best and most successful models and actresses are decidedly dusky. And all the more beautiful for it, too!
We salute these gorgeous women.
Oddly enough, the Bengali bombshell's rise from the Kolkata lass next door to 'Asia's Sexiest Woman' started with the afore-mentioned Mr Meisel.
After winning the very prestigious Ford Supermodel of the World contest at the remarkably young age of 17, Bips was spotted by Steven and subsequently featured in Vogue magazine. From that magical moment, she has had us all on Cloud Nine, perhaps most famously in Omkara's hit item number, Beedi....
Text: Matthew Schneeberger
Photograph: MJ Kim/Getty Images
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