Examining The Race Stereotype Of Women In Tamil Cinema!

Megavarshini S G

The obsession over fair flawless skin is been there for very long time. Though, racism is being addressed a liking towards fair skin tone still exists and obviously in Tamil film industry it is there. Describe a beautiful woman, words like white skin and fair skin are always in the play.

We have the ladies singing, ‘Karupputhan enaku pudicha colouru’ but it’s always ‘white skinnu girl uh girl uh’. Here are three instances from films in which women were mocked for their dark skin tone, while men were been praised or accepted for the same.

  • Magudam (1992)

Comedy tracks usually revolve around a man going for a girl seeing ceremony and discovering that the prospective bride is dark-skinned. Manasthan (Senthil) shows Thanisami (Goundamani) an actress picture and brings him to marry his dark-skinned sister. Thanisami finds this and color shames the girl to a huge extent. In the end, he is forced to marry the girl and a man from the crowd calls Thanisami a ‘thyagi’ for marrying the girl. What’s with the misogyny?


  • Rajakumaran (1994)

In this film, postman (Senthil) and Maarusamy, milkman played my Goundamani initially compete for a girl and later finds the bride to be dark-skinned. They mock and make fun of her, irony is that both the men are dark-skinned themselves. What’s more misogynistic is that Maarusamy exults in joy and keeps repeating the word ‘escape’ while him himself being in black tone.


  • Sivaji (2007)

Sivaji proposes Tamizhselvi (Shriya), she rejects his proposal and would say that his skin color is the issue. Arivu Mama (Vivek) outbursts the very moment and gives a long speech detailing the significance of black color. While Angavai-Sangavai, the twin sisters were mocked by the same Arivu mama for their skin tone when Thondaiman, played by Solomon Pappaiah suggests Sivaji to marry one of his daughters.  People laughed off this scene, while was angry when Shriya mocked the star for his tone.

What’s more horrifying is that girls stereotypically remain silent with a bowed head in all these instances. It doesn’t end with these three films, it is a pattern. Women being judged, mocked and abused for their size, color and character are portrayed very normally in Tamil Cinema. Dark-skinned heroes are popular and usually love white girls. While women have to be white and should never say no to a man. Dark complexion should never be used as an element of humor and it is nothing to be made fun of. Today with pandemic, story narratives are changing drastically. Writers are handling scripts sensitively and we are loving how Cinema is revolutionizing with new directors. Hoping for a change!

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