Elle India magazine is being accused of digitally lightening Aishwarya Rai’s skin for its December 2010 cover. This is something that would have gone over my head, to be frank, but Mother Grindhouse brought it up for discussion while the family was eating Christmas dinner. ‘She’s so pretty, and it looks like they lightened her skin,’ she said of something read in the Daily Mail over a glass of wine. She couldn’t recall which ‘pretty Indian actress’, or magazine, at the time, but turns out it’s Rai for Elle India. I pointed out that magazines don’t care how thin/ pretty/ light-skinned/ famous someone is, they’ll still be digitally manipulated to within an inch of their lives. It’s just how it is. It sucks, but it’s more of an attempt to produce unblemished covers that entirely conform to the most extreme of beauty standards in whichever area of the world. It’s not necessarily about outright colourism. In this case, as pointed out by many of the readers on Jezebel.com, ‘pink, rather than her natural olive skin tones have been added’, the 37-year-old looks ‘washed out,’ and ‘they appear to have made her thinner.’ I dunno. It could be the sh**ty harsh lighting Elle always uses. It could be so there’s less contrast with the background/ dress. What do you think?