Complexion Has Nothing To Do With Beauty: Model Sangeeta Gharu
- IWB Post
- January 12, 2019
Society’s deeply troubling prejudice against dark skin has always been a burden for women. But 23-year-old model Sangeeta Gharu doesn’t care about this bias and she inspires many others to be comfortable in their skin, especially when it comes to those who work in the Indian fashion Industry.
Sangeeta was born in a conservative Marwari family in Jodhpur and faced many obstacles to match fair skinned models. But the “dark and deadly” Sangeeta, as she likes to call herself, believes, “Complexion has nothing to do with beauty. If you are beautiful on the inside, then you are beautiful on the outside too.”
She has often heard people address her as ‘kali’ or ‘chhakka’- if she would wear a suit and has also been shamed for her height. People would say “you are so tall, how will you find a boy?”. But nothing deterred Sangeeta, who had her eye set on her goals.
Sangeeta has walked for over 30 labels at the India Couture Week, Lakme Fashion Week, India Beach Fashion Week, Rajasthan Heritage Week, Pune Fashion Week and also made it to the finals of Glam Icon.
Talking about how it all started, she says, “When I was in class 8, I watched ‘Fashion’. Watching it, I realised that the fashion industry takes dark girls. So after 12th, I gave an audition for Miss India from where it all started. At that time, I did not know how to groom myself. I had no idea that we had to get our eye-brows and complete body wax done. It’s because a girl who used to be a tomboy had come for the audition and all these things were very new. I would just apply some normal lotion and run. My hair was short as I had a boy cut and my way of speaking was very different. I used to dress up like a boy. But in contrast to it, now I have learned to apply a liner and lipstick.”
Like any other parent who wishes their child does well in a high profile job, Sangeeta also had to face some obstacles when she started. “Papa has always been from a defence background so mom wanted me to become their ‘officer beti’ but that couldn’t happen. They were clearly against it, and said ‘we will not support you’. They did not speak to me for a few months and my sister used to send me money when I needed. Adding to this, people used to poke my parents saying ‘what is your daughter doing and what kind of clothes does she wear.’ So initially there were some problems but now my parents are happy. Facing so many things alone made me strong and bold in life.”
Fashion is ‘bhakti’ for Sangeeta. “Just like bhakts, who want god. I am for fashion. I have a hunger for the ramp and I am very passionate about it. Some girls from Jaipur, who think they can’t do anything, keep following me and say that I am an inspiration for them.”
She struggled her way up to be acknowledged for what she was and despite being rejected for fashion shows in the beginning, she kept going on.
“Judges used to make such expressions that made me feel like I was not one of them (the fair models) and would make me stand separately. I was told that the industry is not accepting me so easily because I was ‘kaali’ (dark). Other girls who auditioned with me got work easily. At the Lakme Fashion Week, a stylist dropped the dress and did not let me walk the ramp. He did the same in another show. Clearly, there was a pattern where I was being denied to walk the ramp because I was dark skinned.”
Fairness creams are not her thing and in reference to the promoters of these creams, she says, “These actors who are promoting fairness creams saying if you are dark, you will have nothing, and now you have applied ‘that’ cream you will have everything, those people who promote colourism should feel ashamed of themselves. Till now I tell the makeup artists not to make me fair and do the make-up as per my skin tone.”
“I want improvement in the education system. Our schools should teach students to think logically rather than bookish knowledge. Moral science should be beyond kindness and cleanliness. Children should be taught not to judge their fellow beings on their colour and looks, and accept diversity. It’s at this age that their minds are groomed into becoming a good human being.” she added.
H/T: The Quint