If looks could kill, then there would have been carnage on the Indian streets by now — what else do you expect when there is so much style oozing at every sidewalk, nook and cranny?
Our folks have never paid so much attention to looking good as they are doing now. But not too long ago, an average Indian girl (or a boy) decked up only when 15-odd people from the prospective spouse’s family came to check her out. And then would pop out mommy’s best sari and a bindi and kaajal helped finish the perfect look.
However, somewhere down the line, a few desi girls conquered the international beauty scene and turned the concept of grooming on its head. Beauty parlours became the most happening places for women, cosmetics the handbag essentials and makeover the buzzword.
Chic district The Gen Them is known for wondering if streets today are straight out of a fashion magazine’s pages.
Mandira Bedi, who ushered in the spaghetti revolution, says, “People like to imitate what they see on the screen.
The West has always been the trendsetter and Indians too are slowly catching up. Indian women no longer mind being called ‘sexy’, it is synonymous with pretty.”
And before Mandira’s spaghetti stint with the cricket World Cup 2003 got over, your girl next door had bought its clones from Janpath, Sarojini Nagar and Fashion Street.
Model Muzammil Ibrahim adds that one should try not to lose one’s identity while following a style icon.
Makeover mania: The obsession with looks reached its crescendo with model/ actress Mona Singh as Jassi giving vent to the suppressed desire in every female bosom — of undergoing a mind blowing physical transformation.
While Jassi had the nation in awe for her ugly-ducklingturning-into-a-swan act, personality development classes and parlours were staging their own coups of transforming the women.
TV is now again cashing in on the mania as a channel has roped in Mona for a makeover reality show, likely to begin next year.
Mona however chirps the familiar line when asked about the issue: “Beauty is just skin deep. A person beautiful from within will always stand out. Mascara or rouge can do no wonders here.”
Westward ho! While looking good and feeling great seem to be in the air, some, like ad guru Prasoon Joshi, assert that grooming was always a part of an Indian girl’s dream, only its expression has changed.
Says Prasoon, “Earlier, women used to dress up with and bindigajra, kaajal and bindi but now, the emphasis is more on the Western look, thanks to the influence of films, media and ads.” As long as it helps us in feeling beautiful, can anyone complain?