Saturday 13 February 2016

Exploring Bollywood Stereotypes And Impact

Indian Bloggers
In Bollywood movies, appearances of the actresses is important. 
Hindi films show that heroines are judged based on their looks. 
However, the impact is evident in the climax later on as often there is a happy ending!

In the quest to impress prospective in-laws, movies have shown women enthusiastically participating.

In the movie, HOLIDAY, in the first meeting to consider the marriage of the boy & girl (enacted by Akshay Kumar & Sonakshi Sinha), the girl is shown wearing traditional clothes (Salwar kameez) and she had worn a wig to show that she had long hair so as to impress the boy and his family. 
Still, the boy rejects the girl citing the following reasons:
1. Girl has one-and-a-half metres long hair & she'll take 6 hours to comb them. In the future, if they have to go out, there will be time-wastage (as she’ll take time to comb her hair!)
2. Girl appears “shy & scared”.
3. Girl appears as though “she has arrived from a village. The boy wants a girl who's smart and stylish.

The above matches the stereotypes:
Long hair – Homely but not ambitious
Saree or Salwar kameez – Aunty or Behenji  (sister)
It doesn’t mean that if a woman has long hair, she is homely and if she is dressed in Salwar-suits or Sarees, she is a “Behenji” (sister) or “Aunty”, who is traditional and backward and looks like a village woman!

Later in the movie, the boy learns that the girl's personality is totally different from what was portrayed when she was paraded during the match-making-visit in front of him & his family. 
Impact- When the boy sees the girl's true self, with short-hair and smart personality, he falls in love with her as he is looking for that.
Holiday (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack).jpg

In the movie KAALIA, the boy trains the girl (enacted by Amitabh Bachchan and Parveen Babi) to show her to his sister-in-law & get her approval for their marriage. As the girl is modern & doesn’t know how to wear a Saree, the boy helps her drape one and even teaches her how to cook eggs so that she can impress his sister-in-law.
Impact- Though the result is hilarious, the girl is chosen despite beating an egg and having egg on her face!

Image result for kaalia wikipedia
In the movie QUEEN, though the girl dances to the tunes of the boy (enacted by Kangana Ranaut & Rajkummar Rao), the foreign-returned boy cancels their wedding as the girl is not ‘modern’.
Impact- The girl evolves, is empowered in the process, becomes ‘modern’ and rejects her fiance and his family who want an alliance with her as she is now modern!
Image result for queen movie wikipedia

In the movie DUM LAGA KE HAISHA his wife’s (fat) appearance is so overbearingly agonizing for the husband that he is ashamed of even introducing her to his friends. Husband and wife (enacted by Ayushman Khurrana & Bhoomi Pednekar) fight and have a rift because of the ‘weighty’ issue. The educated wife plans to take up a job & move to another city.
Impact- Husband and wife reconcile, win over themselves, discover love overcoming appearances, and win a race overcoming hurdles.
Image result for dum laga ke haisha wikipedia

In the movie KHOOBSURAT, the Doctor boy and  modern girl (enacted by Rakesh Roshan & Rekha) like one another, though the boy’s strict & traditional mom doesn’t approve of modernism, free-thinking and freedom. Though the girl is in traditional clothes, she is portrayed with a modern outlook.
Impact- In the climax, the girl proves her worth as a responsble home-manager by caring for the boy’s father during a medical emergency and earns the boy’s mom’s respect.
Image result for khoobsurat rekha wikipedia

In the movie KISSI SE NA KEHNA, the boy loves a Doctor girl (enacted by Farooq Shaikh & Deepti Naval), but as the boy’s father wants a traditional daughter-in-law who doesn’t know English, the boy and girl hide the girl’s identity, get married and employ lies.
Impact- Later, all is well as the girl uses her medical education and cares for her father-in-law’s health.

Then, there are many movies where the demure-looking heroine is attacked by villains and she gives a valiant fight as she knows Judo, Karate or self-defence moves! (Of course, in many movies heroines play damsels in distress and wait for the heroes to save them, but that’s what the script demands & is quite another story!)

Just because a woman looks plain and simple, doesn’t mean that she can be taken for a ride.

In the movie KHOON BHARI MAANG, the woman (enacted by Rekha) emerges from an ugly past, even after she is pushed to die with the company of crocodiles.
Impact- She survives and thrives by metamorphosing into a super glamorous and successful model and takes revenge.
Image result for khoon bhari maang wikipedia

A simple-looking pregnant woman, whom opportunists want to use, turns the tables as she has a mission to fulfill and a story to complete in the movie KAHAANI (enacted by Vidya Balan)
Impact- She employs her appearance to befool everyone, hacks into high-security systems, punishes the villain and avenges her husband’s death.
Image result for kahaani wikipedia

If a girl has short hair, looks smart and wears mini-skirts, doesn’t mean that she is so modern that she doesn’t know any bhajans (prayers). 
The movie KUCH KUCH HOTA HAI shows a ragging session in college when the foreign-returned girl proves the boy’s (enacted by Rani Mukherjee & ShahRukh Khan) assumption wrong and melliflously sings ‘Om Jai Jagdeesh Hare.’ In the same movie, the other girl, who wears jeans and acts like a Tomboy (enacted by Kajol), metamorphoses into a sensuous woman who later wears chiffon Sarees!
Image result for kuch kuch hota hai wikipedia

The movie KABHI KHUSHI KABHIE GHAM also illustrates the same when the smart  city-bred western-educated-girl wears traditional clothes and sings ‘Om Jai Jagdeesh Hare’ bhajan with her boyfriend (enacted by Kareena Kapoor & Hrithik Roshan)!
Image result for kabhi khushi wikipedia

Impact- Myths are busted. 
The following is correct:
Short hair & mini-skirtNOT Tomboy
Prefers jeans – Also has regard for tradition

Having long hair and being traditional, doesn’t mean that one can’t be an entrepreneur or be independent and learn to converse fluently in English as illustrated in the movie ENGLISH VINGLISH (enacted by Sridevi). She emphasizes- “I don’t require Love. I want RESPECT.”
Impact- Her wish comes true. She earns everyone’s love, awe and respect.

High time everyone accepts the real personality and respects a person for her (& his) real self.

Have you noticed such stereotypes in movies? What is your take? Do share in the comments below.
Image result for english vinglish wikipedia

Indian Bloggers

All movie-poster images courtesy Wikipedia.

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

Also linking with-
ABC Wednesday- E for Exploring, Enthusiastically, Empowered, Earn, Eggs, Enacted, Emphasizes, Emergency, Education, Entrepreneur


  1. The biggest stereotype is 'pyar sirf eak baar hota hai'. :D

  2. This is very unethical to judge someone on the basis of one's appearance. Very well depicted through the movies.

  3. cool post but I guess a double contest dribble wouldn't work #js

  4. I only see Bollywood movies, and only sections of them, when I go out to eat at an Indian restaurant, but your observations seem about right.


  5. Bang on. Anita you have made such an accurate observation. The stereotyping is deeply embedded in our minds. Thank for sharing

  6. Yes Anita. There's loads of stereotyping in the film industry. Actually, Bollywood is okay but Tollywood and other south Cinema is more into this.

  7. Wonderful write-up. Very detail analysis.

  8. Great analysis done Anita! I am impressed about how you analyze the bw movies. :)
    I see very few and tend to forget fast.

  9. We see such stereotype in movies very often. Interesting post! :)

  10. Very well said Anita. Well, bollywood adds some flavor to make the story interesting for the audience. Unfortunately, the society is full of such stereotyped perceptions. Hair, eyes, nose, ears, chin, fingers and God know how many more aspects are scrutinized and stereotyped. Awareness, awareness and awareness is the only thing that can remove such stereotypes in our society.

  11. You've observed well Ankita... :) Nobody have the right to judge anyone based on their appearances. Great post... :) Visiting your blog after so long time.

  12. Best of all is shown English Vinglish - one needn't change the look to appear smart. Big B's story can be another big story for bollywood - as everyone knows - he has set a standard in his look that was not liked, in his way of acting that was made fun of, in his dance style that was ridiculed, in his voice that was underestimated.

    Your analysing skill is excellent! Wondering if you have watched movies exclusively for writing this post! I guess your bloodgroup is Bollywood +ve and heart beats 'bollywood bollywood':-D

    The Arts & Me

  13. Oh yes but this stereotyping has been all the time not just for women BUt otherwise too.. have you seen how a SIKH man is dressed up in a hindi movie, I am talking before movies like border or bhag milkha bhag, especially in a dance troupe ..

    we live in such a world where stereo typing is is typical, i hate wearing suits so when i went for a meeting in my jeans the guy asked me to sit outside in waiting room as he was waiting for a Mr. bikramjit :) .. if i wear a jean I might not be capable of doing a office work :)


  14. I couldn't say anything about them because i've never seen one ;-)

    Have a nice ABC-day / – week
    ♫ M el ☺ d y ♫ (abc-w-team)


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