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Diana Hayden slams Tripura CM Biplab Deb on making an offensive statement on brown skin

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Diana Hayden slams Tripura CM Biplab Deb on making an offensive statement on brown skin

On Thursday, 26th April 2018, Tripura’s CM Biplab Deb said that Diana Hayden doesn’t represent Indian beauty, only Aishwarya Rai does. Speaking on the decision to award Miss World and Miss Universe titles to Indian women for consecutive five years, Deb was of the opinion that it was market-driven. He also stated that Aishwarya Rai was essentially a representative of Indian beauty.

Speaking at a design workshop in Agartala, Deb said, “Indian beauty should ideally look like Goddesses Lakshmi and Saraswati. Diana Hayden did not deserve to win the Miss World crown. Actually, it was part of a fixed plan which was hatched keeping in mind the interests of the international market. Aishwarya Rai’s victory was well deserved as she represents the quintessential Indian woman.”

“Indian women did not use cosmetics or shampoo. We washed our hair with ‘methi’ water to prevent hair fall and bathed with mud. Beauty contest organisers are international marketing mafia that tried to capture a market of 125 crore Indians with their move,” Deb said, adding that the reason why Indian women no longer win international beauty contests is because the organisers have already captured the market.

This irresponsible statement on behalf of the CM quickly sparked debates where many people voiced their opinions on how the CMs comment was shameful and regressive.

Diana Hayden in one of her comment’s addressing this statement said “It’s a pity and shame that when you win the biggest and most respected beauty pageant in the world, you get criticised and put down as opposed to being appreciated and respected for bringing more accolades back home and further appreciation of our Indian brown exotic beauty. It’s also hurtful.”

Several journalists also voiced their opinion on the issue of brown skin bias. One of the many was Fayne D’Souza, executive editor of Mirror Now. On the Urban Debate, she lashed out to such statements saying “We’re all exactly the same. Our constitution which is the only holy book in our country tells us that we all are equal irrespective or our skin colour, religion or the community we come from. What sets us apart is our achievements, like the achievements of Diana Hayden. The ones which ought to be respected, remembered as a moment of pride to us as Indians and not to further whatever small broken political idea you have in your head. You cannot define or divide us based on our skin colour.”

After facing backlash from the entire nation, the CM regretted his remarks on questioning the crowning of Diana Hayden as “Miss World” in 1997 and alleging that international beauty contests were a sham.

This story makes us believe that discrimination based on skin colour is very much prevalent in our country. However, one needs to move above and beyond this bias and be proud of who they are, focus on working hard and celebrate ones achievements, as this would be the perfect reply to shut down these belittled mind sets.

–  Subodhika Vohra

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