Bollywood Femme Fatales — Feminism Fail
Rani-B is “repping for the girls who taking over the world” in her latest girl power anthem “Who Run The World (Girls).” With artists like Lady Gaga, Pink, Nicki Minaj, Christina Aguilera, etc. laying down chart-topping tracks that speak to a woman’s strength, there is no shortage of examples of independent women for young girls to look up to.
Beyonce’s latest hit got us thinking. South Asia has a history steeped with strong women: Jhansi Ki Rani, Mumtaz Mahal, Amrita Sher-Gil, Indira Gandhi – to name just a few. Where the hell are the portrayals of the veritable Kali Ma in mainstream Bollywood music!?
Apparently they have been abducted by sari-clad aliens and all we have been left with are the roaches that have survived the ooze – The Bollywood Item Girl.
Sadly, even the most staunch feminist won’t be able to resist dancing to the intoxicating instrumentals and heart-pounding beats. But the fact remains that Bollywood is spilling over with a hyper-sexualized, often times vulgar portrayals of the modern Indian woman.
We took a look back at some of the latest popular songs and representations of women in commercial Indian cinema and identified the most convoluted examples girl-power.
Ruined For Her Man: Malaika Arora Khan in “Munni Badnaam Hui”
Are we supposed to be impressed that Malaika Arora Khan‘s character has been ‘ruined’ for a dude? Apparently, yes. According to this song, young girls of the world should want people in back alleys talking about her hotness, and not her intelligence. I won’t comment on how eff-ed up it is that Salman is singing about his real-life sister-in-law in this song.
Gold Digger: Katrina Kaif in “Sheila Ki Jawani”
Interestingly, “Sheila” is the second song on our list to be choreographed by Farah Khan (“Munni”) – a director who actually does stand out in commercial Indian cinema industry as a powerful woman. Khan ALMOST creates a song, although slightly crass, that women could fathomably be proud of. Katrina starts out singing about being too good for a lot of guys, but then reverts to needing a rich man to fulfill all her dreams. So close…yet so far.
Hips Don’t Hide: Mallika Sherawat in “Sahlu Ke Thumke”
In the music video that is creating hype for the upcoming film Bin Bulaye Baarati, Mallika Sherawat‘s “Shalu Ke Thumke” flirts with the idea of a female empowering song. Once again, however, the song falls on (Mallika’s almost completely exposed a$!) the misogynist side of the line. “Shalu”asserts that the world only loves her because of how she can shake her hips. Well, the men in the video who are covered up in cute outfits are probably just exited about her miming that she’s about to perform oral fellatio.
Sweeter Than Ice Cream. Who Needs Baskin Robbins?: Sameera Reddy in “Isak Se Meetha”
This song may go down in the book as the sluttiest of all time. Not only is Sameera Reddy brazenly gyrating and heaving her bosom on a bunch of men, she goes out of her way to say that she’s tasted everyone else, but yours is the sweetest lovin’ out there. And the award for the whore of the year goes to…