Singer, fashion icon and former model tell Rediff.com's Anita Aikara why Indians should stop obsessing over fair skin and start being proud of their natural skin tone.
Where do you usually shop?
I actually shop a lot at the men's section. I like the fits they make for men, especially the T-shirts.
I have been wearing oversized T-shirts anyway! The T-shirts for women are made in such a way that the cuts are pulled in to accentuate the curves. But I really like the loose style of T-shirts.
And thankfully you wouldn't find polka dots and prints in the men's section.
What does fashion mean to you?
I really enjoy fashion. I love getting dressed. I don't really follow any trends and I love to experiment.
I think fashion for me depends on my mood; I dress how I am feeling.
Although I do try to have a comfortable style, I do put fashion before comfort once in a while.
There are so many! Our own young emerging Indian fashion designers like Chola are doing such amazing work.
Shivan & Narresh are also doing fantastic work.
One accessory you just can't do without
Boots! I wear sneaker boots now. I have these calf-length boots. I wear them everywhere. It is like a staple for me.
Do you avoid wearing make up?
I try not to wear a lot of make up. I always look for products which have no chemicals.
Luckily, I get acne just once a month, but that will be a big pimple right in the middle of my face.
Why do you think Indians are so obsessed with fair skin?
I think people have not found their right colour. It is a task finding the right colour for your skin.
Indians don't know how to do that -- it is a big problem.
When you go to a mall with make up stalls, I don't think the girls have the knowledge to suggest what's right for your skin.
When you go to a professional store like Mac, you have trained staff that will suggest the right colour for you.
Advice for Indians who hide their skin colour...
I think you need to honey it up! If you have got dark skin, make it shine. When your skin is glowing it doesn't matter what colour it is.
Fair people have their own set of problems. When you are in the sun, your skin turns red and sensitive.
Girls with dark complexion don't even need to tan.
Whether you have light or dark skin, you just need to be comfortable with it.
Be proud of your skin tone!