South-Asian movies and songs are not unknown to spreading the concept of beauty revolving around the skin color “white.” Bollywood is also not foreign to portraying dark-skinned movie characters are an “ugly” before a “makeover.” This indirectly promotes racism. In almost every TV commercial that you’d see, a dark-skinned girl with a terrible frown on her face would gaze at her reflection in dismay. However, her frown turns into an alluring smile when she achieves her desired skin color “white.”
And the uncanny thing is, that girl who once lived gloomily is now a bright young individual with an attractive smile. Since the beginning of the television era, Bollywood has associated fairness with beauty. That is precisely what they portrayed in their new song “Beyonce Sharma Jayegi,” featuring Ananya Pandey and Ishaan Khattar from their newly released movie “Khaali Peeli.” Some of the main lyrics of the song go as follows
“When you move your hips,
From left to rights,
After seeing a fair girl like you,
Even Beyonce would feel shy,”
Here is everything that’s wrong with Beyonce Sharma Jayegi.
It promotes racism
One of the most apparent reasons this song is wrong on so many levels is that it promotes racism. We are currently living in a world where people are being killed unjustly because of their skin color. People from all across the globe have joined hands to speak up on the injustices happening against the people of color, and Bollywood decides to make a song on the superiority and beauty of the color white?
Wasn’t it just a few months ago when an innocent and unarmed black man, George Floyd, was killed brutally despite how much he asked them to let him go? This is not the first time someone got killed unjustly because of their skin color. And the next time any celebrity or industry decides to make a song on the beauty of white skin, they must think of the innocent black men, women, and children in America being killed.
It gives out the wrong message to young girls
Being a brown girl, I grew up listening to Bollywood music and watching Bollywood movies. Now that I am an adult, I look back and realize that I have been watching movies that promoted the wrong messages of love, beauty, and self-worth.
In Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Rahul accepted Anjali only when she grew her hair longer. By becoming more “womanly” and less “tomboyish.” Such content teaches young girls that the only way they can be loved is by being beautiful, and the only way to be beautiful is to be desirable.
The only way to be desirable is by being more womanly, and the only way to be more womanly is by possessing white skin. What would a brown-skinned girl think of herself while listening to “Beyonce Sharma Jayegi?” She’ll consider herself to be unloved and unworthy.
It encourages hatred for brown skin
It is common for suitors in South Asia to look for wives and daughters-in-law who possess white skin, and it is a plus if she keeps quiet and bears any verbal or physical abuse thrown her way. Songs such as “Beyonce Sharma Jayegi” promotes hatred for brown skin, and if a six-year-old brown girl hears this song for the first time, what will she think of herself?
Perhaps she’d wonder, there’s something wrong in the way she looks. She’d wonder, maybe the lighter someone’s skin tone is, the superior they are to you in social status and beauty. She will develop low self-esteem at a vulnerable age and despise her reflection whenever she’d see her face in the mirror.
As adults, we must boycott songs that promote racism and hatred
Young girls below the age of thirteen are not aware of the dangers of watching and grooving to the songs with lyrics that promote racism and sexualize women. The artists of this generation have lost the true essence of music as they are not aware of the beauty and the purity of songs and lyrics.
Music is a form of art. In the times of the Civil War, lyricists wrote songs to encourage the world leaders who fought for the freedom of their countries and motivate the deployed soldiers for war. In the 80s, songs were made for the lovers who departed and for the beloveds who reunited.
Music is a way for people to communicate. Despite being of different languages, cultures, and traditions. However, songs as “Beyonce Sharma Jayegi” only promote hatred between two different cultures.
As adults, it is our responsibility to stop listening to songs with biased lyrics, especially the songs that objectify and sexualize women’s bodies and the songs that promote racism. We must teach the youngsters of our generation to stop listening to songs as such, especially the ones whose lyrics are vulgar and don’t make any sense.
Why compare to Beyonce?
Have you ever seen Beyonce comparing herself to a South-Asian actress or model from Bollywood? NO! There’s a reason why we call her Queen B. It is because she is a queen of her own world. She is confident in her skin, and she is an inspiration to all the curvy women of color across the globe; in Beyonce’s recent music video, BROWN SKIN GIRL ft. SAINt JHN and WizKid, she beautifully portrays dark-skinned women, and it is a song that is an art in its most tangible form. Some of my favorite lyrics of Beyonce’s Brown Skin Girl Song are:
“Brown skin girl
Your skin just like pearls
The best thing in the world
Never trade you for anybody else
Them men, them gon’ fall in love with you and all of your glory
Your skin is not only dark, it shines, and it tells your story.
Keep dancin’; they can’t control you.
They watchin’, they all adore you.
If ever you are in doubt
Remember what mama told you.”
I’d want my daughter to grow up listening to Beyonce because her song’s lyrics are the true embodiment of empowerment.
What Beyonce’s songs teach young girls
She teaches young girls to feel comfortable in their skin. I presume that is enough to make anyone fall in love with her.
Why I love Beyonce so much!
Growing up, I never saw a woman who looked like me in the mainstream media, especially Bollywood. A woman with large thighs and skin as brown as earth. However, Beyonce was someone who inspired me immensely. Not because of her popularity or the way she sang. It was because of the way she represented women like me! Seeing her up on stage, wearing a short skirt that showed off her voluptuous thighs, while she was being unapologetically herself, gave me a confidence boost, I never knew I needed!
The kind of women we need in media, songs, and TV
I do not hate South-Asian movies and songs, nor do I detest any actor. All I am saying is that we should break out of our old shell and start to embrace diversity. It is only through movies and songs that the children of the 21st Century learn. If all they learn are sexual contrivances and racism, how will our future generation flourish? How will the youngsters have a respectful image of women in their minds? If they grow up watching songs with half-naked women dancing in a room while drunken men throw money at her? Isn’t a woman supposed to be more than the way she looks?
Songs don’t have to be about bashing anyone, nor do they have to objectify women’s bodies to be good. Weren’t songs in the 1980s good too? It was, indeed, the golden era for Bollywood. Because the lyrics were about love, romanticizing the eyes of one’s beloved. Perhaps if they start making such songs now, wouldn’t we have fewer double-standards regarding how a woman looks and more on the kind of person she is?
I am sorry to burst your bubble; not all women look the same. Not every woman has snow-white skin and a body as slim as a supermodel. But that does not mean those women aren’t beautiful. The women we need in media, songs, and TVs are women who look like my brown sisters and me. Women with blemished skins and uneven eyebrows, a woman with fluffy hair and a bulging tummy. Beauty has nothing to do with the color of one’s skin. However, once again, Bollywood has failed in showing that by. By degrading the Queen B and every other brown girl around the world.