In most Hindi soaps and movies, the rich beef cake son-of-a-business-tycoon boy with the half unbuttoned shirt and carefully gelled hair, falls head over heels in love with the naïve, barely 18 years old salwar-kameez clad girl who clutches an embroidered cloth bag with “Hey, I’m from a small town!” written all over it and goes to a mysterious, unheard-of college. Of course, it isn’t important to mention her course at all.
Notably, these naïve, innocent girls who are supposedly the epitome of Indian-ness and goodness, don’t know anything about the world or anything/ anyone/ anywhere at all. They aren’t familiar with the big “bad” world- the noisy streets of metropolitan cities like Bombay and Delhi. It is their absolute oblivion to the real world and their dumbness that makes them so desirable.
They spin their magic and cast their spells on rich aristocratic men (only) by blinking their heavily mascaraed and at times fake eyelashes in the daftest manner possible, wrapping the edge of their chunnis around their manicured fingers and saying the most blatantly stupid things ever.
“Marne ke baad log tare ban jaate hain na?”
“Wo dekho! Tootne wala taara!”
“Ye pyaar kya hota hai?”
…and BAM! The Richie is forever wrapped around your finger, he is falling, falling, falling in love with the adorable dumbness, fake eyelashes, countless layers of make up, straightened hair and the conveniently placed bindi. He will spend the rest of his life dreaming of this empty headed plastic-perfect face, with moronic background scores. This desirably dumb untouched beauty one day becomes the reigning queen of the richest possible household. But such a girl can only be called Sita, Gita, Pooja, Iccha, or the latest, Meera.
Us poor ones called Veronica , Sandra, Helen or Bobby, we wear short , skimpy dresses, lounge around holding the sleekest, most expensive cigarettes available, we’re okay with alcohol, call others of our kind “babe” and dance to loud music in discothèques.
The girl in the miniskirt also serves as a convincing villain for soap operas: meet the sexy, sultry, seductive vamp; she wants to marry the business Richie too, just like the naïve heroine, but only for his money. She also has no family values, and talks in English only.
With the help of a never-say-die sexist spirit and with consistent efforts, Bollywood has managed not only to create and engrave gender stereotypes but has also managed to wave it into our very own faces, in the so called 21st century urban India. The trend in Bollywood has only resigned us to our fate: we who wear short dresses and attend parties do not deserve to marry. Unless we fold our hands before a deity every morning, wash the dishes and wear glass bangles.
Picture source: Poster Women