The dark beauty | Sunday Observer
Apannaka Kuliyapitiya

The dark beauty

21 November, 2021

As snow began to fall lightly and during a season of rest from the wheel of the mind, Apannaka Kuliyapitiya consented to speak a few words with the Youth Observer all the way from St. Petersburg where she currently dwells.

Apannaka does not invariably need a novel introduction. She can be one of the most sought after protagonists for a prospective playwright and writer, notably following her breakthrough by winning the first runner-up title of the Miss Sapphire World 2021, in Russia a few months ago.

As she herself pointed out, her winning efficaciously facilitated an ideal platform where the women with darker skins are also able to make a difference in general fair skinned dominated world of beauty pageants. Women with darker skins conquering the beauty pageants is not a strange phenomenon, as noted by Apannaka, her winning may give a ray of hope for any darker skinned young woman who wishes to contest in a beauty pageant.


An international electronic media institution recently highlighted, “Colourism is a form of discrimination that favours light-skinned members of the same ethnic group. Despite its major impact on communities around the globe, it’s been barely discussed - until now” It further reported that in India the film industry seems to be dominated by light-skinned men and women.

“Billboards of upcoming movies seemed to show that only light-skinned men and women could make it in the country’s film industry. Television advertisements for skin care products emphasized that the fairer a woman’s skin, the more likely she is to find a job, a husband or happiness”, the report stated.

Under such circumstances, despite such claims, Apannaka firmly stands by her way of promoting the natural beauty of people, women in particular. Ignoring a cross section of society’s obsession with fair skin which is well known and deep rooted and while still colour prejudice is widespread and practised openly, she is rather impressed and motivated by her achievements as a dark skinned beauty. ‘The Guardian’ also in a recent report expressed its concern on the matter in hand and wrote” Fair skin bias was perpetuated and strongly reinforced by colonialism”.

A researcher declared, “Beauty pageants have long been a contested part of every culture: some of them classify it as a hangover from a far more patriarchal era, while others defending them as a strong platform where the women of all ages can be helped to feel confident and to know their self-worth”.


Apannaka noted, “Following my winning the first runner-up title, I received calls from some dark-skinned young girls, telling me that in a way, I have become a source of inspiration for them. They say that now, they are not anymore bothered over their dark skin which at times tends to get discriminated against in some societies.”

Meanwhile, Apannaka moved onto another direction where she got so keen to brief about her latest projects. Amidst her busy schedule as a beauty queen, model and a brand Ambassador, Apannaka still immensely enjoys herself while being a teacher of English in Russia. She offers English lessons privately to young Russian Students who show such a huge interest in learning English. “Teaching, I believe, is not just a source of income but a way of contributing for the betterment of the world.”

Commenting on her latest assignments, Apannaka said that the photo shoot that she did with a Colombian dancer for the cover of a popular Russian magazine is receiving an overwhelming popularity in Russia.

“It was a huge success. I was actually not in a good mood when the shoot was done. But anyhow, I am so glad that the entire photo shoot has grabbed the attention of the people there. The other most amazing thing is that it was the debut photo shoot of the Columbian dancer,” Apannaka remarked.

Meanwhile, she noted that most signed assignments get delayed due to the uncertainties of the pandemic. An Italian fashion show, sponsored by Miss Sapphire world, scheduled to be held in Russia with the participation of the winners of Miss. Sapphire Russia and Miss Sapphire London were also forced to get delayed due to the pandemic. While the pandemic keeps people’s hope at bay, Apannaka managed to take her interest in posing for a few photos off the carpet with a photo shoot done for an album cover of “Artsky”- a popular music band in Russia. Artsky’s music album is due to be released this month and the cover is decorated with a photo of Apannaka.

‘Peacock shoot’

She spoke of another project in which she is involved. She said that a Russian model collaborated with her in this particular project where a scarf band is promoted with her being its brand model. Meanwhile, “the peacock shoot” as it appears is supposed to be one of the most amazing and exciting photo shoots that she partook in, despite the pandemic prone scary times.

The photos in the peacock shoot are published in an online magazine. Before we wound up our conversation, she expressed her optimism over a request, extended by a renowned sculpture artist regarding his desire to craft her sculpture to be exhibited in a sculpture exhibition expected to be done in Russia showcasing the sculpture arts of The Netherlands, Austria and Russia.