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I Con June 24, 2009

Posted by astralwicks in beauty, Bollywood, india, People, Politics, Racism, Random, Writing.
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They are young. They are successful. They are articulate. They are icons.

Sonam Kapoor, the effervescent and nonchalantly retro-charmer of a girl and John Abraham epitomising bulging muscles and quiet dignity both endorse ‘fairness creams’.

Why would 2 seemingly intelligent people of this generation who spout socially conscious sentences at every journalistic intrusion do this? The obvious answer is money. That ancient temptation that has scorched us has beaten us once again.

And yet we tut tut ad nauseum at the attacks in Australia and anywhere else. When city bred youth, ironically in a profession that pays obeisance only at the altar of beauty thereby revealing its illusory transience, cannot take a stance against a skin whitening cream, what hope do we have from people who we say are mired in centuries old superstition.

Endorsing colas is almost divine.


Racism, Child Marriage Etc August 4, 2008

Posted by astralwicks in advertisement, Blogging, Business, Culture, Ethics, gossip, india, News, People, Politics, Racism, Writing.
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People unable to comprehend the Colors soap ‘Balika Vadhu’. Whether it is against child marriage or for it?

Rahe Tera Ashirwaad another soap on Colors which had a woman being impregnated by rays of light emanating from the idol of a god/goddess at the altar.

The complete domination of religion on Prime Time television. Began with Ramayana on NDTV; now we have Mahabharata on 9 x; Jai Shri Krishna on Colors; Shani Maharaj on NDTV imagine. There is Sai baba also. Plus most news channels have devoted early evening to all things religious. Another thing – all skewed to Hinduism.

Another skin whitening cream; this time from Nivea for men. And did you see the end of the Ponds Racial Ad starring Saif, Priyanka etc. The lovers finally realize that they are made for each other…now that they both are looking PINK and not DARK or BLACK. Congratulations Saif / Priyanka – you are the Idols of India.

Ranbir Kapoor the new male hottie saying ‘The body is God’s gift to you, I won’t do a tattoo on it and ruin it’

Bipasha Basu saying ‘With every new film I don’t have to prove that I can act’.

Bachna Ae Haseeno the new Yash Raj Film again has a hero by the name…you guessed it right Raj Malhotra.

Is This Not Racism ? June 17, 2008

Posted by astralwicks in advertisement, Advertising, Blogging, Business, Celebrity Endorsement, Commerce, Culture, Economy, india, Ponds Skin White, Racism, Writing.
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Turn on the channels and what do you see. Advertisements. For that matter, look around and there they are – on hoardings, magazines, shops, windows. They catch your eye because of humorous reasons.

Some because they are funny. Like the Mirinda ‘Paagalpanti Bhi Zaroori Hai’. The recent one at the mandap, Indian father and daughter getting emotional at the bidai of the daughter and then viola the daughter scaring the father with an attack / gesture to his knees which makes him jump.

As kids we used to do that a lot to scare people. It instantly brings a smile to your face.

Welcome to Ad Novellas – commercials that tell a story – chapter by chapter.

Welcome to Ponds White Beauty Range.

This one is doing heavy rotation. One featuring 2 superstars of Indian cinema Saif Ali Khan and Priyanka Chopra also featuring Neha Dhupia.

Some time back a teaser started to air which looked like a teaser for an upcoming film Kabhi Kabhi Pyar Main without revealing the association with the product. Very interesting people would say and wait for the big reveal. Then the reveal happened.

Saif and Priyanka looking appropriately sad, romantic and heart-broken part ways. The diptych locket is halved and Priyanka comes face to face with a shop-window and its beautiful products – Ponds White Beauty Range

I don’t even want to go beyond. Most would have guessed.

Here is an international beauty pageant winner – apparently a woman who should set up an example for the woman of her generation – that’s what they profess in all the their interviews, being bought over by an MNC (Unilever India) to endorse a skin cream that will make you white – which is the accepted color of success in all spheres (personal, professional – remember Rakesh Roshan, in another such socially meaningful, discovering the commentator ad?).

Saif too has been paid millions for this ad I am sure and everybody loves millions.

Pullela Gopichnd too was offered millios after he won the All England Badminton championships. By both Pepsi and Coke. He refused. Saying both the drinks were health hazards. He had knee injuries and some would say his career ended prematurely. He runs an academy in Hyderabad without any huge sponsorships.

There are other creams for men now which assault you day and night. Is this not Racism? Is this insidious celebration of all things white not indoctrination, conditioning of young minds by MNC’s using successful people to sell their products? Is it less harmful than Shah Rukh smoking on screen? Is it any less regressive than the soaps that Ekta dishes out to the Indian audience daily and whom we criticize endlessly?