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Only after spending $1.5 million on an online ad campaign that featured Ashton Kutcher speaking in a stereotypical Indian accent while in brownface, and having it go viral in one day but not in a good way did snack company Popchips finally realize that brownface just isn’t cool any more.
Welcome to the year 2012, you dumb fucks.
Filed under: Ashton Kutcher, Ashton Kutcher Brownface, Ashton Kutcher Popchips Ad, Ashton Kutcher Raj, Asian Accents, Badvertising, Bollywood, Brownface, Desis, Dumb Fucks, Foreign Accents, Indian-Americans, Popchips, Popchips Ashton Kutcher Racist Ad, Popchips Racist Ad
One year I vacationed in Mexico and spent the entire time in the water, body surfing and boogie boarding. My skin got really dark, which I don’t care about one way or another, though I am afraid of sun damage and skin cancer, in that order. I made one mistake that trip though, and it wasn’t forgetting sunscreen (always, always remember sunscreen). My mistake was going to see my grandmother right after. The first thing she said, once she got over the shock, was “How did you get so dark?!” For the rest of the visit, she introduced me to her friends as “My Granddaughter-Who’s-Normally-Not-This-Dark.”
Light skin is still prized in Asia for a number of reasons that have to do with longstanding notions of race, class, and gender. Good thing then, that there’s a booming market for skin whitening creams, many of them manufactured by Western companies! And good thing the companies who make these creams also make commercials, because quite a few of them–beyond their creepy, disturbing premise–are kinda hilarious.
1. Skin Whitening For Young Girls
There’s this commercial for SkinWhite Teens, produced by Filipino company Splash Corporation, a skin whitening product designed specifically for young girls:
Filed under: Advertising, Advertising in Asia, Asia, Asian Obsession with Light Skin, Badvertising, Beauty Products, Bollywood, China, Class Issues, Dark Skin Bias, Dark Skin Prejudice, India, J, Japan, Korea, Lady Bits, Lady Parts, Oppressive Notions of Beauty, Philippines, Pond's, Skin Bleaching, Skin Color Hierarchy, Skin Lightening, skin whitening, SkinWhite, Vagina Bleaching, Vagina Lightening, Vagina Whitening, Vaginal Bleaching, Vaginal Lightening, Vaginal Whitening
EVA: Tell me again why I have to stand next to you?
ASH: Because we both work for L’Oreal, silly.
EVA: Could you at the very least have let me be the only one wearing the sparkly dress?
ASH: What, this old thing? I just threw it on at the last minute.
EVA: Uh…yeah, me too! Yup, just threw this on. Just like you. Don’t even know who designed it.
ASH: Didn’t I hear you tell that journalist over there it was Naeem Khan?
ELIZABETH: Oh joy, lucky me! I get to walk the red carpet with “The World’s Most Beautiful Woman”! There definitely must be a God. And he hates me.
AISHWARYA: Come now, darling. At least your films are widely seen in the West. Most Americans can’t even name one of my films!
ELIZABETH: Do you think most Americans can name any one of my films either?! All the good parts I go up for end up going to that whore Rachel McAdams. Do you know how close I was to landing The Notebook? To sniffing Ryan Gosling’s godly flesh?
ELIZABETH: So I’m always left playing the girlfriend. Or the blonde. Or the blonde girlfriend. Or the brunette girlfriend. Or the…whatever-colored-hair girlfriend who isn’t an integral part of the story. Arghhh. Shoot me.
AISHWARYA: What about that porno you made? Surely people remember that?
ELIZABETH: It wasn’t a real porno. Unfortunately…that would have actually helped my career.
AISHWARYA: (sympathetic) I see. Well, you look divine in red, dear.
ELIZABETH: I wore it when I found out I’d be walking the red carpet with you. So I would blend right in to the floor, and no one would be, like, There goes Aishwarya Rai and, uh, What’s-Her-Face-Oh-Who-Really-Cares-Anyway-Let’s-Not-Even-Bother-to-Put-Her-in-the-Headline…
AISHWARYA: No one will say that about you!
ELIZABETH: Trust me, people will definitely be saying that about me.
Dude. As we all know, The Cosby Show was way ahead of its time. But who knew that, in addition to being groundbreaking reprzentation for African-Americans, it had a Desi flava, too? Check out this show intro mashup:
Hails from: Mumbai
Occupation: Bollywood actor
Why He’s a Babe: John was recently named 2008′s “Sexiest Man in Asia” by Eastern Eye, a British Asian weekly (“Asian” meaning Indian here, because, for some fucktarded reason, “Oriental” is still an acceptable–and unexamined–term for East Asian in the UK). And this was after E! News named him one of the top 25 sexiest men in the world. While his beefcake-itude is undeniable, we think John–whose movie debut was in the Bollywood film-with-the-porn title Jism–would be a whole lot cuter if he stopped preening like a gay porn star. It’s like, Dude. We get it. You’re hawt. But, that said, our gays would probably disagree, so what do we know, really?
Nicole Scherzinger on wearing a sari:
“This is my first time in a sari
because somebody told me Bollywood is really hot right now. It feels amazing but not quite as sexy as latex pants. I feel like a whole nother person. I put this on and I feel so beautiful and just in touch with all the different cultures and backgrounds that I’m made of. And now for an awkward, non-sequiter shout-out to my fans: Just be true to yourself and stay beautiful.
…I’m so honored if people think that I’m Indian or look Indian
instead of a plastic surgery nightmare. Growing up…I didn’t always have a lot of people to look up to who looked like me [cue world's smallest violin]. And I love that everywhere I go [everywhere??--Ed.], even in India, people think, wow, she belongs to us. [Please, for the love of God, India--take this crazy bitch off our hands.--Ed.]“
Who doesn’t love Natalie Portman? She’s got a face you could stare at for days and that cute mole on her right cheek. As annoying as it is, she even looks great with a shaved head. She’s both the person you want to make out with and the person you want to discuss 700-page novels with over a few bottles of red wine. You wanna hate her, but you just can’t.
That’s why I love this Devendra Banhart video of “Carmensita,” from his latest album Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon. Bollywood send-up? Meh. Racial Drag? Yawn. Freak folk? Get me the fuck outta here. Natalie Portman?! Yippeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!
Hails from: India
Why She’s a Babe: Well, for one thing, Riya seems to be Salman Rushdie’s latest conquest. We know–ewwww–but, like it or not, that bald, ancient, fatwa-incurring troll is a bona fide babe magnet. And, for another, the Bollywood actress is aggressively cheesy, mining all the tired sexpot cliches in her photos, and yet there’s no denying that even when she’s rocking a fug unitard and an almost-imperceptible camel toe or giving her awesomely corny fuck me-face, we still want to claw her wide-set eyes out because she’s so durn purty.
It was announced this week that Sylvester Stallone will be the first major Hollywood
has-been star to appear in a Bollywood film called Incredible Love. The Times reports that the movie is “the story of an Indian stuntman who takes Hollywood by storm but cannot find true love there.” Governator Schwarzenegger is also scheduled to make a cameo in the production, which will be shot at Universal Studios.
But, frankly, I’m worried. Cuz the last time Stallone appeared in a movie with a bunch of South Asians in it, shit was not pretty:
“Scandalous” allegasians surfaced this week that Bollywood actress Tania Zaetta–who is Australian/Italian and not Indian, her perma-tan and penchant for saris notwithstanding–had sex with special forces soldiers while in Afghanistan entertaining Australia’s troops.
After her visit to the war-torn nation, Tania, who was voted “One of the Best Butts in the World,” according to her website, was named and shamed in a confidential “hot issues” briefing to Australian Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon as having boned some army guys (plural). That brief was then somehow leaked to the public, a violasian that the Department of Defence is currently investigating.
Although the department has apologized to Tania for the leak and for naming her in the briefing in the first place (a privacy law no-no), we’re left to wonder:
This week, it was announced that Madonna is planning to adopt another child, this time a baby girl from India. The 49 year-old pop star was reportedly looking to give her Malawian child David a black brother or sister but was put off by the legal troubles she faced during that last adoption process.
Earlier this year, she “began searching for the right baby from the right orphanage with help from her friend, Bollywood choreographer Sandip Soparrkar, who last year became the first single male in India to adopt a child.”
Sources close to the Material Girl have also said that she is “over the moon” about the prospect of teaching India’s native customs to her new daughter, which include throwing her a henna party/baby shower, showing her how to properly apply a bindi and wear a silk sari, and practicing yoga with the little tyke until her arms become ripped like a dude’s.