Monday, April 2, 2007
It only seems logical to first understand what on earth is Bollywood? Where is it? And why does it sound like Hollywood?
Bollywood is the name given for the hugely popular film industry in India. Bollywood is similar to Hollywood in that it's the center, the crux of the Indian film industry. Located in what was once known as Bombay, Bollywood borrowed the "b" from Bombay and replaced it with the "h" in Hollywood.
Okay, so enough with the history lesson (however scant it may be). Women in Bollywood fame are gorgeous on an international level.
The first Bollywood film I ever saw was in Philadelphia on the growing number of international channels. The music and dancing was surprisingly soulful. I thought, “Wow, I didn’t know that Indian people got down like that!” Soon, every week, my family and I would plop down and immerse ourselves in Bollywood cinematography.
Fast forward ahead seven years. My husband came home and stated that I needed to watch 60 Minutes. "Why?" I ask. "They say the world's most beautiful woman is going to be on there,” he said.
I chuckled at first. Later, I thought, "hmm. I wonder?" I'm a self-professed beauty aficionado, how could she pass under my beauty radar?
My husband and I tuned in. I honestly expected to see a woman so scantily clad that I’d be able to see every bend and curve of her body and judge her beauty from that, as we so often do. Yet, Aishwarya Rai wore a simple black suit for the interview. The accompanying footage showed little skin peeping through a beautiful sari and her modern attire.
I later ascertained that her beauty reaches far beyond the physical. It’s her countenance. It’s sure. It’s sophisticated and refined. So, I looked at other Bollywood beauties, the ones that are successful and revered, and found similar qualities in them.
So, could real, mesmerizing beauty really be simply attitude and state mind? Or is it a combination of good looks, a strong love of self and sophistication?
They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And the eyes that are beholding Bollywood beauties see women who aren’t provocatively dressed. This is a great message to send girls of today.
On a different note, I’m left wondering about India’s many “untouchables,” and how they compare themselves to the highly commercialized beauty of women like Aishwarya Rai’s. It’s something to think about. Beauty is certainly in the eye of the beholder but we must ask ourselves who is doing the beholding.