Once upon a time, writes Firstpost, you could rely on ice maiden Aishwarya Rai to sell soap. Or even uni-browed (and uni-named) Kajol. These days, Bollywood is reeling under The Invasion of the White Girls.
But it's all topsy turvy: "Even as our actresses try to look more like Cameron Diaz, with their blonde streaks and skin whitening treatments, we have an influx of lily-white foreigners who are being bronzed and tanned – and not very well – to be made to look more desi. This, of course, defeats the purpose of casting a foreigner in the first place."
Too true, too true.
It was brought to my attention that some readers of this blog don't even know what "fairness cream" is (It makes you look WHITE, people!). So perhaps some explanation is in order. All those Indians in Bollywood (and Tollywood, Kollywood, Mollywood, and Trollywood--okay, that last one is made up) are not the same. While in L.A. the boob job may be the difference between success and failure, here it's all too often the color of your skin. "Indian" doesn't spell acceptance of all colors, even if the ever increasing popularity of everything desi, from bhangra to the sari, suggests that Brown is the new Black.
Aishwarya Rai is fair enough by most estimates, but even she got in a spat when a fashion magazine lightened her up a few shades (nobody could erase her pants suits from history, unfortunately). Bipasha Basu, the looking-London-going-Tokyo desi Sophia Loren? Too dark. Priyanka Chopra, the one-time beauty queen who's now the A-lister of A-listers? Dusky.
No wonder directors are looking for girls like "the Brazilian-Arabian Bruna Abdullah who’s acted in I Hate Luv Storys and Desi Boyz; the Brazilian Giselli Monteiro who played the very Punjabi Harleen Kaur in Love Aaj Kal and a forgettable Indian teenage schoolgirl in the even more forgettable Always Kabhi Kabhi; and the latest Bollywood recruit, British model Amy Jackson in Ekk Deewana Tha," according to FirstPost.
Only one problem, the best-of-the-Indian-web asserts: "They display zero acting chops and are as successful in essaying their role as say Katrina Kaif would be playing Winnie Mandela. Picking Amy Jackson to play a demure Malyali girl makes about as much sense as selecting Salma Hayek to play a blonde all-American cheerleader. Can we really see a Hollywood director making that call?"
Nope. But they might just throw Nicholas Cage in there. They'll give him a role in just about anything, no matter how nonsensical.