They walk the ramp in contemporary and traditional attire, they reveal loads of skin without ado, but walking the ramp in bikinis or lingerie is a strict no-no for Indian models.
As a result of this, though a range and variety of swimwear and lingerie is available off the shelf, no Indian designer has ventured into creating an exclusive line of such wear.
It's not just the ramp. No mainstream Indian model is willing to appear in a lingerie advertisement. Thus, innerwear manufacturers have to rely on second or third rung models or even foreigners to pose for their products.
"I do not mind wearing bikinis but not on the ramp. This is due to my respect towards my family. I know they will not be happy seeing me in a two-piece suit," said model Dipannita Sharma.
"It's just a matter of one's comfort levels," she added.
Model Laxmi Rana also thought it was a matter of personal choice but given the Indian milieu most models were not comfortable wearing a bikini.
Nayonika Chatterjee rued that even though the Kamasutra, the ancient tome on love, originated from India, the people here are still conservative about letting their daughters and wives be seen in a swimsuit.
Model Urvashi Sharma went to the extent of saying bikinis went against Indian culture. However, London-based Indian model Joey Matthew wondered what the fuss was all about.
"I am pretty comfortable and carry myself well in a swimsuit," Joey maintained.
As for advertising lingerie, Rana said, "It depends on the brand one is associated with and the comfort level one shares with the photographer.
"Still, it becomes very difficult because one has to think twice before shooting in swimwear or lingerie because at the back of the mind, one knows that it will not be appreciated. We have to think about the sensitivity of our family, friends and fans," Rana added.
Advertising guru Prahlad Kakkar had a totally different take on this. "Indian models do not have the perfect body to pose for a lingerie brand," he told IANS on the phone from Mumbai.
"On top of that they and their mothers throw tantrums at shoots and mothers keep asking questions about how much their daughter will be asked to expose. Exposing comes at a price and Indian models ask for exorbitant amounts for shoots," Kakkar added.