Bollywood

Bollywood and body image

I have a friend who regularly trashes Sonakshi Sinha by calling her names such as haathi. Every time, I defend Sonakshi Sinha and argue that we should commend her for embracing her body, rather than giving in and losing weight as convention demands. Sadly, it’s not just this one person who makes such comments and the comments are not restricted only to Sonakshi Sinha. We feel entitled to judge Bollywood actors for their bodies and we hold them up to standards which are incredibly narrow: The women must appear slim and toned. They must not appear too muscular and definitely should not have six-pack abs. On the other hand, abs are totally, absolutely, completely mandatory for men. And unlike the average Indian man, they must be as hairless as a plucked chicken. (more…)

The objectification of women in Bollywood item songs

Are Bollywood item songs anti-feminist? This burning question came to me after watching Sunny Leone gyrate to Baby Doll Main Sone Ki from Ragini MMS 2 for the millionth time, whose lyrics so obviously objectify and de-humanise women.

This had to be a slam dunk – Surely the answer is staring us in the face (“item” song) and don’t we have our answer already when we consider “Is this something men are worried about?”, also discussed in my previous post.

But the more “performance numbers” (I am using the term as a substitute for item song) I watched on YouTube, the more convinced I was that the answer wasn’t as simple.

(more…)