Thursday, September 27, 2007

More mail natter

My response to Shailaja Bajpai's Chuck de, Shah Rukh:

Hello Shailaja,
I am not sure if I agree with your contention that SRK should not have done the Fair & Handsome ad. There is a crucial difference between other stars promoting fairness products and SRK doing the same. From endorsing Lux to extolling the virtues of fair skin for men, SRK has followed a deliberate approach towards robbing the luxury and beauty segment of its feminine side and if I may add, feminine expectations. His metrosexual persona is a slap on those mindsets that prefer lighter-skinned females, even as they go around maintaining rigid gender boundaries where men can be tall, dark and handsome. SRK, via his endorsements, strongly attacks such notions of patriarchy (in subtle ways, yes) and lays down the onus of being sexy (and fair) on men as well. It may not be the perfect antidote for our national obsession with fair skin, but it does manage to break down a few hypocritical shibboleths about ideals of feminine beauty by reversing the gaze for once.
Vikram Johri

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