This month we dive into the rich influence of South Asia. Our cover star, Deepika Padukone, was photographed in Mumbai, a city where she is well-known for her extensive Bollywood credits. Padukone kicks off our tour with guides that include Charithra Chandran (an actor now appearing in season two of Bridgerton), who finds ways to celebrate her rich Indian heritage as a first-generation immigrant in London. She also speaks on the colorism within the community — and how she overcame self-doubt by watching actors like Mindy Kaling thrive. We also highlight three models of South Asian heritage who have embraced their resplendent curls and challenged the long-held South Asian beauty ideal of thick, straight, swinging hair.

Then we do a deep dive on kohl, the inky black pigment that is both the origin of our current black eyeliner obsession and a purported healing substance in Ayurvedic medicine.

Sunset near Ganga Ghat, Varanasi, India.

Getty Images

And before we leave South Asia, we visit Afghanistan with a photo portfolio by Fatimah Hossaini, an Afghan Iranian photographer who is using her lens to bring into focus the lives of Afghan women. Now in exile, Hossaini shares with us some of the photos she took of women in Kabul before the Taliban took control last summer. They are colorful, moving, and striking in their beauty— a reminder of just how much is at stake in that country right now.



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