October 24, 2009

A Rant about Viewable Ribcage and Size Zero!

I've been following all of Filmi Girl's posts on the emerging trend of being really skinny in Bollywood these days. It really annoys me that there's no normal size heroines anymore as they've all decided to slim down Deepika style and let their ribs poke out! Perhaps I maybe harking back to the days of oldie cinema when the heroines had some flesh and a round tummy but we didn't poke at them before unless we were Baburao Patel! So here's a list and a rant of some of my favorite heroines of the yore and now that just scream:Healthy and Gorgeous, while the Deepika's and Kareena's who promote an unhealthy weight for Indian women to aspire to.
1. Hema Malini - I just love her dancing skills, she looked great in any outfit but to me she exuded a sexy heroine because nobody looked at her tummy when she was performing a dance and she still drew in the male fans that swooned over her curvaceous hips. She was South Indian and loved her food and her Dharam. Its quite sad nowadays that whenever a Southie heroine comes to Bollywood they have to slim down because they look toooo chunky for audiences! UGHHH
2. Vyjanthimala - Another lovely South Indian heroine who looked beautiful and lovely when doing some fabulous dancing, and there were no bones picked against her for having a lovely round face and tummy. Her body was probably the average size of a woman today as it was back then and even in her biography which i read she had a voracious appetite which didnt hinder her dancing or how the audience viewed her. In fact, my sleazy yet lovably Blobby Raj Kapoor did ample justice to her beauty in Sangam, she looked hot in a swimsuit and did the striptease to "Mujhe Budda Milgaya." 3. Meena Kumari - This might be a questionable addition to rant list as Meena apparently got overweight from all that drinking and marital problems. But Pakeezah and her slew of rubbish films that she made Pradeep Kumar and Ashok Kumar, I really didn't care that she looked drunk or tired throughout, she just could act and I didn't poke or try and spot how big she was. Her image and acting was cemented in my mind, and whether she looked big or not was not what the audience or I looked for, we are prepared to cry and weep during her films like Dil Ek Mandir or Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam.
4. Neetu Singh - perhaps my favorite masala heroine, and being a girl with big boobs myself I looked to Neetu and Rekha and cheesily said "Well even in Bollywood you can't choose your assets!" Admittedly cheesy when I watched old Bollywood films I identified with the heroines that were my size and Neetu just did that for me. Maybe that's why I love old school heroines more these days as they weren't toooo criticized for having a huge rack or having roly tummy because back then audiences went to see a film and their stars for some escapism, and to be titillated by the hero and heroine wearing tight and stylish clothes
5. Mumtaz - One of my favorite heroines, and she just radiated curvaceousness and she just looked wonderful in sarees especially in her films with Rajesh Khanna and she wore the shortest sari tops with her, showing off her cute tummy! In her Dara films, she had her puppy fat that just didn't look puppy fat it made her the sexy B-movie heroine in distress! And obviously the directors loved showing off her bod to the audiences in rain songs in Do Raaste and Prem Kahani! 6. Nargis - the original curvy lady of the RK banner, she looked just lovely in any of the films she did with RK, and he definitely knew how to make the camera just soak up all that wonderful acting and her curves especially in the Rk penchant of the white sari! Obviously the best example of her dancing prowess and showing off her bod was in the "Ghar Aaya Pardesi"song in Aawara, lol even I wanted to have sparkles on my face and dance about like she did. And the key moment of cinema history was her wearing that fashionable swimsuit (lol that i bought after watching that!) and her changing scene after, of course Raju wanted to take a peek and act like a junglee and so did the audience!

7. Finally these two people that I've really lost respect for
YA I'll show off my ribs, while standing behind some sexy curvy ladies! DUHHHH

YA, A side profile of my tinny tummy looks really sexy! NOT!

I'm not gonna hate on all naturally skinny gals like Anushka Sharma, or others but its just that Kareena Kapoor is going all out to promote an unreal expectation and the fact that people look up to her as a role model. Its very harmful to hear quotes from magzines with "Kareena Kapoor the trailblazer of size-zero fad in India, admits that occasionally she does feel like putting on some extra kilos but resists the temptation because being a fashion icon she has to remain lean and sexy. " or even worse "My size zero is what got the attention of an international clothes manufacturer. I will be launching a clothes line soon.” This is gonna be awful if she starts a clothing line as it will probably bee 0-8, which will encourage young girls to be an unrealistic size just because their idol Kareena says its cool and men will flock to you!

Why does being lean need to be the new thing, its far more sexy and attractive to have some meat on you and not just show off your bod by shrinking in size to fit into a bikini ala Rani Mukherjee in DBHadippa which was just sooo unnecessary I don't mind an item number like the next fan but it just made me sad to see her sell out by trading her voluptuous figure to gyrate in a bikini for a few seconds in a silly shower. Sonam Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, and now Lara Dutta and other heroines really need to set a better example to young girls out there that are bombarded with their idols looking like Ally Macbeal's all of a sudden. Its just a sorry state of affairs in Bollywood that we now value skinny and unhealthy looking heroines to average sized Vidya Balan or Madhuri Dixit.

I really feel bad for the South Indian heroines that want to cross over to Bollywood, Asin has already said she had to slim down for London Dream and Trisha is toning her curves down for her film with Akshay Kumar! Honestly, beauty is skin deep for god's sake, it just makes me feel angry with the Deepika's that promote their size and just make girls feel bad for being the size that they are and wanting to be beautiful. Countless eating disorders will probably rise if this trend continues and who knows Kareena is probably starving herself to look the kind of "good" she sees. And I haven't noticed any slim heroine saying "Girls listen up, you've got to love what you see in the mirror, learn to love yourself, beauty comes from the inside!?" LOL maybe i've watched too much Tyra this week

What are your thoughts, and who are your fave voluptuous heroines?


Banno said...

You've cornered the market on favourite voluptuos heroines. All these are my favourite too. I'd add Asha Parekh.

As for Kareena, she's become really irritating with that 'Look how perfect I am!' look on her face. Sadly, she's lost her acting skills with her weight.

theBollywoodFan said...

Really enjoy the works of those you've listed. My favorite actresses are Tabu, Vidya Balan, Kajol, and Katrina Kaif, so no worries there. :) Asin needed to lose weight for London Dreams? She's looking great (and not like she lost much weight) in the London Dreams promos, as she did in Ghajini.

I feel the way Banno does about Kareena. That shot from Tashan is painful, and so not sexy. It's sad when she *can* act. (But then, her popularity did skyrocket after she revealed her new look in 'Kya Love Story Hai' a couple years ago.) Looking for a major rebound in 3 Idiots, but she has two before it (Kurbaan and one with Shahid, the name escapes me).

Having said that, these actresses (or even actors, the supply-demand issue applies to all) aren't entirely to blame for the routes they choose to take. That'd be like blaming only food (often fast food) companies for increases in obesity rates. What about the people who consume the food (or entertainment)? It's only fair they be held accountable (perhaps more) too!

If it didn't sell, it would never have made it to market.


PS: And I agree completely about Rani in Hadippa. Such a waste.

dg said...

Great post!
Love your picks, especially Nargis, Hema and Mumtaz - just so lushly gorgeous. And as a fellow big-boobed girl, I am 100% with you on the beautiful Neetu.
For me, I would add 80s icons Sridevi, Juhi Chawla and Madhuri Dixit, who were never bone-thin, and always looked great. I also think the curvy Ayesha Takia is absolutely gorgeous. As are Kajol and Asin.
Like you said, no hating on the beautiful, naturally slim actresses like Amrita Rao and Anoushka Sharma, but the Bebos and Priyankas of this world who aren't naturally size zeros but are basically starving themselves and strenuously working out round the clock in order to look skinny, are just sending such an unhealthy message. The skinny trend is just totally off-putting, unattractive, and basically just needs to go!!

Anonymous said...

Excellent post Rum. Totally agree with you about these film actresses setting a bad example for young growing up girls in terms of an unrealistic size.

I didn't have much admiration for Kareena before. It has now dipped to zero. She looks postively gaunt and ugly in that so called "size zero" ( is there such a thing at all?)

Priyanka Chopra looks like she is starving herself (in What is your Rashi) as well as the recent promos she has been appearing on TV (eg Sa Ra Ga Ma - chotey ustad show).

Just share something (u may know this already) - plump punjabi kudi Jyothika is a super hit heroine down south in Tamil movies. She is a fav with the audience for her bubbly nature and acting abilities despite being really plump. It is a pith that Asin had to lose weight - she looked okay to me in Ghajini and in other south indian movies she has acted in. I think she has a naturally slim size.

Anonymous said...

"NORMAL" size heroines???

What's "normal"?? It's certainly can't be average, at least in US where the average is obese.

It is one's own choice to look however one want. It's not the slim people's problem if the chubby people aren't getting enough attention. Acting skills should be more important than how the actresses' look.

Deepika looks a lot more fit and healthy than the earlier actresses that you had posted.

People say there are prejudices towards fat and slighty chubby people - well, there seem to also be a current prejudice against slim and skinny people.

Anonymous said...

Self-contradicting statement:
>"...But Pakeezah and her slew of rubbish films that she made Pradeep Kumar and Ashok Kumar, I really didn't care that she looked drunk or tired throughout, she just could act and I didn't poke or try and spot how big she was. Her image and acting was cemented in my mind, and whether she looked big or not was not what the audience or I looked for, we are prepared to cry and weep during her films like Dil Ek Mandir or Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam..."<

Maybe you should start doing the same with slim and skinny actresses and look pass their appearance and focus more on their acting. I'm quite sure they're not just slimming down for their audience, but also for themselves.

bollyviewer said...

You've picked some of my favrites - especially Neetu, Hema and Mumtaz (Meena Kumari I prefer in the pre-drinking stage when the drink hadnt blunted her facial expressions and body language).

That said, I think its unfair to blame Kareena, Deepika, Rani, et al for slimming down. They need to do whatever it takes for their careers, which in this case means the media's obssession with "size zero". And I think the slimming and exercise products industry is behind the media's strong advocacy of this ridiculous trend. Its the same with men, too. Salman, Hrithik, et al have started the trend for horribly buffed bodies, which I think, look every bit as repulsive as Deepika's ribs! (I do love Hrithik, but I wish he didnt have those sausages on his arms.)

theBollywoodFan said...

@Anonymous: Just my two cents since 'fitness' is brought up. Know who's fit? Bipasha Basu. Malaika Arora.

Fitness comes from focusing on nutrition and workouts, not by starving the self until the ribs show. Kareena and Deepika are hardly ambassadors. That obviously doesn't mean they're not good looking. They are, of course.

Completely agree on personal preferences, though. And let's judge them purely on acting skills, with you on that too.

In the end, if the fitness (or lack thereof) is what we discuss and remember about an actor, the quality of the film they're in and their fit with the character probably don't hold much weight (pun intended)!

bollywooddeewana said...

great post Rum my arguement for this is that the slim trend won't be going anywhere soon, its not like i'm a big fan or anything, its just that with the way bollywood is gaining some prominence in the west as well as all the foreign magazines like Harper's bazaar, vogue etc all gaining prominence in india i can see the same beauty standards of the west being imposed on bollywood/indian women. In fact we could say this is globalism at work this thinness model is spreading far and wide around the world

And i do agree with bollyviewer, i wouldn't blame Kareena and Deepika they have to do what they have to do to advance their careers, its such a pity, but such is the world we live in.

By the way my favourite curvy star from back in the day would be Reena Roy check her out in the song below flaunting and loving every inch of her body


P.s I do think women from back in the day too had to be of a certain weight, sure they weren't as thin as some of the ones now, but there was still some standard weight, with a few women such as Meena Kumari were exceptions

Rum said...

Thanks for the debates everyone!

Banno - Thanks, I'd definitely add Asha Parekh she looked positively curvy and wonderful in Teesri Manzil

The BollywoodFan - Thats a good point, as audiences we watch their films but i do feel we can put some onus on the path or fitness route they're taking.

dg - Thanks, definitely love the Madhuri, I mean all actresses of different weight can be celebrated but if they all looked the same, who could curvy gals like us look upto!

Anon1 - I love how cute Jyotika is, but poor Asin was told by Vipul to lose that weight to fit to bollywood standards,

Anon2 - I'm just saying that normal sizes are what the average indian women is which is around 12, if we are bombarded with slim actresses that look frail we have to question why they do that and the lack of variety out there! Of course we look for the acting but if we're distracted by how gaunt they look then that causes a problem in the way i watch.

Anon3 - Each to his own preference but I feel that as i watched Meena I wasnt struck by how fat she was, she had an image in my mind though some films she looked ill. Obviously we go for the acting then the look of an actress

Bollyviewer - I do feel its partly their fault because, if they wanna slim down they can I dont mind but when they utter ridiculous statements about how beautiful and desirable a size 0 is I just feel bad for people listening to that and taking it to heart

the Bollywoodfan - lol love the pun, fitness too is necessary but when you push yourself to the extent those gals have I wouldnt advocate that.

Bollywooddeewana - If your career demands you to look like that then do it, but dont publicize your gorgeous yet frail body and make the rest of India's women feel bad. Kareena has uttered some terrible things and that is what i have beef with! Great point with the globalization, the thinness of Hollywood too is being transported over to India and i hope its just a fad!

Filmi Girl said...

Great post!! I love all of your choices and second thebollywoodfan's addition of Kajol! :)

You know what else has been bothering me about the "Size Zero" trend - women naturally put on a little bit of weight in their 30s. Should we all look disgustingly skeletal like Madonna in our 50s?! Ew!

bollywooddeewana said...

Ok i agree that Kareena promoting size zero for everyone is wrong, what i meant was that i can sympathise with them over the pressure on what their bodes should be like, in order for them to stay on top of their game

by the way zakhmi aurat is here in youtube in 20 parts enjoy.. ;0)


Rum said...

Filmi Girl - thanks, all your ranting and raving made me do the same! And true its expected that 30+ plus women just put on weight but it seems like they have to do that to keep the status quo!

Bollywooddeewana - Zakhmi aurat is online! YAAY! I know career pressure must be tough for them but also they need get better spin doctors for the quotes she sends out!

Ellemar said...

Hi Rum :)
Although I don't know that much about Bollywood, I've always appreciated the sizes of the actress'. Nice, normal looking girls, who are still really fit (all that dancing!) Although I wouldn't get too down on the girls who are slimming down, I do agree that they should be setting a better example for younger girls.

Rum said...

Ellemar - Hi! I just have a beef with actresses that have slimmed down to an unrealistic size and are publicizing their small waist and encouraging young women.

ajnabi said...

Whoa, most Rum comments ever! Love the post, of course; as the mom of two daughters myself I love anything that encourages happy body image.

I think with the heroines of yesteryear, it was more "girl next door who can dance and act" as opposed to "model next door who looks hot in all the wet-clothes numbers." Mumu is my favorite but they're all awesome.

Amrita Rao and Genelia are obviously, naturally small and I'm cool with that. I'm not in the camp that says you must be curvy to be attractive. (My ribs showed even when I was eight months pregnant! The rest of me was certainly *not* thin though.) But I must say that as an hourglass myself it's nice to see all types on screen.

And, btw, Anon3, if we're going to judge them by acting ability first, there are plenty--myself included--who think Deepika should be excluded from the list altogether.

Rum said...

Ajnabi - I know so many comments! Lots of debate though, Lol love the model-next door thing its soo true and Deepika is not judged on acting unless she can show me some acting instead of mannerisms! Being an hourglass too, i wont hate on the naturally thin gals, but what irks me is when girls slim down and make rude comments which make the fans feel bad!

memsaabstory said...

It's hard to act when you're fainting from hunger :) At least I imagine it is. It's hard to do pretty much anything except faint when you're fainting from hunger.

Rum said...

Memsaab - LOL that is soo true, especially in the case of poor Asin who fainted at a recent press conference!

bollywoodfoodclub said...

Wonderful post and comments. I would prefer to see a little roll of plumbness instead of a series of ribs. :)
ALl the best!

Rum said...

Sitaji - Hear Hear! Ribs and unnecessary slimming is annoying there's nothing wrong with being a bit plump

yves said...

Hi Rum,
Ah, I loved reading all this, it was a shower of refreshing common sense and natural ease-loving!
Let me chime in: As a lover of the Manisha Koiralas, Neetu Singhs and Tabus of this world (on screen and out), I must say and affirm that there IS something wrong with skinniness. I think it is a sickness which women must resist. A lot of magazines, adverts and modelling agencies, led by loud-voiced males who phantasize about "tight asses" and ethereal shapes, are transforming the norms which nature had seemed fit to endow women with (as a general rule), and this leads to young girls refusing food and feeling depressed and worried about their figure. This is wrong! I have no respect for beliefs (anonymous #2) stating that health is connected to slimness. Slimness is Okay, that's all. Both Obesity and skinniness are extremes.
Over here in France, we've just the Miss France elections. Well, looking at the finalists, all strictly alike in size, height and hairdo, you'd think all French girls were 5.10 and size 9! There's a totalitarian unwritten rule that all of us should only be interested in that type of women! Well I say no to that law. I can't do without my hips and boobs.

Rum said...

Lol yves - good on you! The new pressures on Bollywood women to be slimmer is really disheartening because i feel it just makes younger girls feel bad for being bigger than the Deepika's of the industry and when Kareena utters rude statements it just makes me feel bad for her fans! Like the Ms. France, Bollywood needs to diversify from the size 0 to maybe a size 8 or 12!