Desis‘ obsession with gora rang is no new news. We have all grown up in a society where a girl’s worth is judged based on how fair her complexion is, where fairness creams are a norm and where having dark skin is considered synonymous to being ugly. Pakistani film industry is no exception. Dark skinned actors have almost always stayed on the periphery but lately, things seem to be taking a turn. We now see a diverse array of actors on our TV screens. Does this mean that the desi mindset is finally undergoing a paradigm shift or is it just another false alarm? We, at Galaxy Lollywood, talked to a few dark-skinned male actors to see if there’s actually hope for diversity in the industry and if having dark skin is, in fact, considered equivalent to being ugly in the same.
Before we delve deeper into what these actors had to say, we’d like to mention that almost a month ago, Galaxy Lollywood’s co-founder Momin Ali Munshi had the ever talented Mohsin Abbas Haider on his show. Amidst all thing industry and Lollywood, Mohsin Abbas Haider mentioned how Faisal Qureshi, in one of his shows, pointed out that he was glad that dark skinned actors like Moshin himself, Gohar Rasheed etc. are making their mark in the industry, based on their talent and not their looks. While we understand that Faisal Qureshi meant well, the fact that this still had to be pointed out in this day and age is problematic, to begin with. An actor should only be assessed based on his acting capabilities and nothing else.
While talking to Galaxy Lollywood, Mohsin Abbas Haider said that the industry is primarily performance arts. The only thing that can take an artist far, is his talent and hardwork.
“There are of course exceptions to this general rule for some people have been going up and up based on their looks only, for years. However, there is only so much that can be attained through good looks. The audience is cruel and brutally honest. They can throne you or dethrone you for that matter overnight; case in point: ko ko korina. Therefore, it is best to focus on your work because at the end of the day, it is your ability to do justice to you work that stands out. I don’t mind not being a heart-throb, I don’t believe in buying followers or likes. The only thing I believe in is being an honest artist and not a super star,” told Mohsin Abbas Haider.
Yasir Hussain, on the other hand, believes that the notion that only fair people are beautiful has nothing to do with the industry, in particular. The idea has been perpetuated by us as a society, as a whole. Industry is just a small part of it.
“Faisal Qureshi has always supported me and all the new people in the industry. He does a morning show every day and things like these do happen sometimes. I know he didn’t mean any of it. But, at the same time, it is also true that our industry and people are obsessed with gora rang and beauty. Some of the big actors are still doing fairness cream ads. This, by no means, implies that gora actors are not good actors. It’s just that the society, on the whole, has a warped concept of beauty. Mothers are always looking for gori bahus for their sons and vice versa,” told Yasir Husain.
Last but definitely not the least, Mohib Mirza had more or less the same things to say as the other two. According to him, “racism exists everywhere. It’s not just confined to the industry, it is a problem common to this region. We have been instilled with the notion that gora rang is the only way forward. Isi liye bohat saray logon se apne rang bhi goray kar liye hain.”
This is 21st century. The world is going nowhere but forward. In this time and age, it is imperative that we reconsider our preferences when it comes to beauty and not indulge in trivialities such as these.