Priyanka Chopra cuts a sleek figure in Nicolas Jebran

Priyanka Chopra Jonas wearing Nicolas Jebran at the Clive Davis pre-Grammy bash. AFP
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Updated 26 January 2020

Priyanka Chopra cuts a sleek figure in Nicolas Jebran

  • Priyanka Chopra Jonas turned up to the annual Clive Davis pre-Grammy bash wearing an Arab design

DUBAI: In recent years, the celebrations that precede the Grammys have proven to be just as glamorous, star-studded and highly-anticipated as the annual awards show itself.  

You don’t have to look further than the Clive Davis pre-Grammy gala, which took place on Jan. 25 in Beverly Hills. Each year before the hotly-anticipated awards ceremony, the elegant bash brings together the who’s who of Hollywood wearing their glittering best, and this week’s gala was no different.

Everyone from Diddy, who was the recipient of the Industry Icons Award at the music executive’s legendary pre-awards gala this year, to Dua Lipa and Naomi Campbell, who were both dressed to the nines, were all in attendance.

Bollywood star Priyanka Chopra Jonas, who chose to don an ensemble from an Arab designer for the occasion, also turned up for the event.

The “Quantico” actress was a sight to behold in a satin bronze creation from Lebanese couturier Nicolas Jebran’s Spring 2019 offering. The backless, sleeveless look included a halter-neck secured at the nape of the neck, long train and thigh-high slit. She accessorized the ensemble with a pair of matching Stuart Weitzman pointed-toe pumps and Bulgari jewels.




The “Quantico” actress was a sight to behold in a satin bronze creation from Lebanese couturier Nicolas Jebran’s Spring 2019 offering. AFP

As for her hair and makeup, Chopra kept it classic with smoked-out eyes and nude lips courtesy of celebrity makeup artist Mary Phillips and tousled, texturized locks.

The glamorous look served as a warm-up act for the 62nd edition of the annual Grammy Awards, which will take place on Jan. 26 in Los Angeles’ Staples Center. The 37-year-old actress will be in attendance to support her husband of two-years, popstar Nick Jonas, who, in addition to performing at the awards ceremony alongside his brothers, is also up for the Best Pop Duo award for “Sucker.”




Arab designers also found fans in Jessie J and Nicole Scherzinger. AFP

Arab designers also found a fan in American singer Jessie J, who showed up to the bash with her on-again partner Channing Tatum wearing a black, heavily-embellished Zuhair Murad couture gown; and the Pussycat Doll’s Nicole Scherzinger who stunned in a white structured gown with slits on either side from Lebanese design duo Azzi & Osta.

 Meanwhile, also in attendance at the star-studded bash was Cardi B and her rapper husband Offset, singers Janet Jackson and Hailee Steinfeld, part-Palestinian model Anwar Hadid and Best Album nominee Lana del Rey.


South Asian marriage websites under fire for color bias

Updated 12 July 2020

South Asian marriage websites under fire for color bias

DHAHRAN: An online backlash has forced the matrimonial website Shaadi.com to take down an ‘skin color’ filter which asked users to specify their skin color using descriptors such as fair, wheatish or dark. The filter on the popular site, which caters to the South Asian diaspora, was one of the parameters for matching prospective partners.

Meghan Nagpal, a Toronto-based graduate student, logged on to the website and was appalled to see the skin-color filter. “Why should I support such archaic view [in 2020]?” she told Arab News.

Nagpal cited further examples of implicit biases against skin color in the diaspora communities – women who are dark-skinned are never acknowledged as “beautiful” or how light-skinned South Asian women who are mistaken as Caucasian consider it a compliment.

“Such biases stem from a history of colonization and the mentality that ‘white is superior’,” she said.

When Nagpal emailed the website’s customer service team, she received the response that “this is what most parents require.” She shared her experience on a Facebook group, attracting the attention of Florida-based Roshni Patel and Dallas-based Hetal Lakhani. The former took to online activism by tweeting the company and the latter started an online petition.

Overnight, the petition garnered more 1,500 signatures and the site eventually removed the filter.

“Now is the time to re-evaluate what we consider beautiful. Colorism has significant consequences in our community, especially for women. People with darker skin experience greater prejudice, violence, bullying and social sanctions,” the petition reads. “The idea that fairer skin is ‘good’ and darker skin is ‘bad’ is completely irrational. Not only is it untrue, but it is an entirely socially constructed perception based in neo-colonialism and casteism, which has no place in the 21st century.”

Overnight, the petition garnered more 1,500 signatures and the site eventually removed the filter.

“When a user highlighted this, we were thankful and had the remnants removed immediately. We do not discriminate based on skin color and our member base is as diverse and pluralistic as the world,” a spokesperson said.

“If one company starts a movement like this, it can change minds and perceptions. This is a step in the right direction,” said Nagpal. Soon after, Shaadi.com’s competitor Jeevansathi.com also took down the skin filter from its website.

Colorism and bias in matrimony is only one issue; prejudices are deeply ingrained and widespread across society. Dr. Sarah Rasmi, a Dubai-based psychologist, highlights research and observations on how light skin is an advantage in society.

The website took down the skin filter following backlash.

“Dark skin tends to have lower socio-economic status and, in the US justice system, has been found to get harsher and more punitive sentences.

“These biases for fair as opposed to dark skin comes from colonial prejudices and the idea that historically, light skin has been associated with privilege, power and superiority,” she said.

However, in the wake of #BlackLivesMatter protests, change is underway.

Last month, Johnson & Johnson announced that it will be discontinuing its skin whitening creams in Asian and Middle Eastern markets, and earlier this month Hindustan Unilever Limited (Unilever’s Indian subsidiary) announced that it will remove the words ‘fair, white and light’ from its products and marketing. To promote an inclusive standard of beauty, it has also renamed its flagship Fair & Lovely product line to Glow & Lovely.

“Brands have to move away from these standards of beauty and be more inclusive so that people – regardless of their color, size, shape or gender – can find a role model that looks like them in the mass media,” said Dr. Rasmi.