Skin Show, Freak Show – this is Flop-py-wood!

This is a Bollywood movies website which usually discusses about the latest news concerning hindi movies. So what is an article about the fitness regimes of actors doing here?


It might come as a shock to you dear readers  considering I talk about the most happening industry in our country – Bollywood. But still, I really am bored these days. And the reasons are one to many! For one, instead of movies, there seems to be just about everything else going on and about in tinsel town. There are the usual fashion shows, breaks up and hook ups, bollywood charity events and so on. But one thing that seems to be missing, ironically, is a good film to watch.

According to Wikipedia, these have been the highest grossing films of the year so far:

Rank Title India United States

and Canada

United Kingdom Box Office Verdict
1 My Name is Khan Rs 73,14,00,000 US $4,018,771 UK £2,625,745 Blockbuster
2 Housefull Rs 64,50,00,000 US $1,165,104 UK £546,363 Hit
3 Veer Rs 37,52,00,000 US $527,193 UK £296,363 Flop
4 Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge? Rs 29,03,00,000 US $235,847 UK £119,799 Average
5 Badmaash Company Rs 24,75,00,000 UK £54,699 Hit
6 Ishqiya Rs 22,09,00,000 US $91,468 Super Hit
7 Prince Rs 19,26,00,000 US $144,826 UK £142,810 Above Average
8 Karthik Calling Karthik Rs 17,92,00,000 US $286,409 UK £125,967 Flop
9 Paathshaala Rs 11,22,00,000 UK £48,160 Flop
10 Chance Pe Dance Rs 10,04,00,000 US $168,643 UK £140,655 Flop

Of these films, the only one I personally liked was [intlink id=”1047″ type=”post”]My Name is Khan[/intlink]. The others were below average, lacking in either the storyline, direction or performance of actors.

This of course, is my personal opinion. You might have loved Housefull given that you are used to leaving your brains behind at home, whatever that means. I am not.


So anyway, continuing with our story this time. We all know that all film industries are about glamour and Bollywood is no exception. This showbiz operates on a simple phenomenon – ‘Jo Dikhta Hai Wo Bikta Hai.’ Given the sort of film promotion Aamir Khan and Shahrukh Khan do – one is sure to rush to the theaters to see the film once at least. And thanks to the rising prices at cineplexes, the film covers its cost in the first month, flat with some dough to spare. However, another mantra that is commonly applied to the marketing of films is another principle: skin show. This is perhaps one of the worst trends to have hit Bollywood since pelvic thrusts and gaudy make up.

What is ‘Skin Show’?

Kareena Kapoor in Tashan

Essentially, this is the trend of showing more and more skin on movies to attract audiences in India. And they don’t seem to mind because it is a common fact that we are sex starved, raging and hungry men who want to see things on screen that are otherwise hidden in real life. To do this, female actors are being employed to do ‘itme numbers’, ‘bikini sequences’, wearing less clothes, etc etc.

Consequently, the new breed of female stars on screen has to work twice as hard maintaining those slim figures and now it appears that they are starving themselves on fancy Hollywood diets to achieve results quickly. And some of them have proved it as well. A year back Kareena Kapoor fainted on the sets and now it was Priyanka Chopra. Katrina joined the league too, when she fainted on the sets of Rajneeti. All of them had one thing in common – they are all size zero or at least in the neighbourhood of it. Ask them their daily diet and prompt comes the reply – “Soups, salads, some juices and of course, plenty of water.” Basically nothing but liquids. There are many other girls as well who are trying hard to maintain size zero – the top name is Deepika Padukone. And those who are not able to do so seem to be criticized like hell; for instance, Rani Mukherjee.

Coming to the men, Hrithik Roshan, Shahrukh Khan and Aamir Khan – all of them seem to live inside the gymnasium making and maintaining their 6-pack and 8-pack abs. Finally to show up all this on screen, you find women wearing bikinis and almost nothing in their dresses and men taking off the shirts far too much. I get it that these actors spend a lot of time working hard to ensure that they remain super fit, but selling films on the basis of their bodies…A shallow proposition, don’t you think?

shahrukh khan
Shahrukh Khan in 'Om Shanti Om'

My conclusion

All ones needs to qualify for a break in Bollywood is:

  1. A Physique as slim as possible.
  2. A Make up artist who can turn frogs into princesses.
  3. Oodles of sex appeal because that’s on every Indian’s mind.
  4. Some pull from the bureaucracy wouldn’t hurt.
  5. Acting skills. Nah, you can do quite well without them. After all, who gives a hoot about something so lame as THAT!

However, I do not entirely blame our hot stars for spending more time at the gym than in an acting class or on stage. Producers, directors, film makers and story tellers are equally to be blamed for such a spiteful state of films in the industry. Being male dominated like almost all other industries, few people have the guts to write a role in which a woman plays the lead with men under her. Its only people like Mahesh Bhatt (Arth), Madhur Bhandarkar (Fashion and Page 3), Prakash Jha (Mrityudand) and Shyam Benegal who through their thought provoking films have highlighted that women can also act well.

In addition to this, let us not forget that the legendary names of Bollywood have never used such unhealthy and wry means to attract the audiences. Till date they have that spark in them and their films are undying hits. Even if you do not want to believe in yesteryear stars such as Madhubala, Meena Kumari, Hema Malini or Rekha, one could consider Madhuri Dixit, or Sridevi. Indian beauties IMHO look their hottest when they have voluptuous figures that fit a saree well.

Impact on the Youth

Another question that arises out of such a trivial issue is about the impact that such ‘icons’ have on the health of the youth of the nation. They are sacrificing their health for fame and glamour? What is the long term impact of these bikini worn dry rib cages showing on the youth of today? We can think of many things that arise with these questions.

First of all, we should know that films and cricket are parallel religions in India. Therefore, actors and cricket players are like youth icons –  everyone follows them blindly. So what ever these actors do has a direct impact on the youngsters of our country. They, being an indispensable part of the media, have an unsaid responsibility to guide the youth correctly. So, whatever the result of this article would be, that is the answer to the golden question – Are they making a good impact on the youth or are they misguiding them?

Next, to understand this fashion, we have to understand its root cause. Is it the Hollywood influence? Let us mention here of leading names Hollywood industry who took up several unhealthy means to become size zero and then regretted it to the core. Lindsay Lohan took a strictly liquid diet continuously for 15 days and landed up taking a break for a full month as she had no stamina left. She said in her interviews that she needed to do this for a role but she would never ever do that again. Angelina Jolie is a perfect example to understand how excessive weight loss ruins your health. So even if one is following the Hollywood trends, we are aping the trends they’ve cast aside! Isn’t that foolish enough?

Then may be, it is all done to intrigue the fan following? A latest survey conducted across the country says that men in India like girls who have a little more to love. They do not like to see skeletons and near to death rib cages. So, how far is this reason for size zero justified?

And even today, some of the actresses are sensible enough to bifurcate between famished looks and slim looks. Kajol recently gave a statement that she loves to eat and she knows how to keep healthy. And we all loved her in ‘Fanah’ and ‘My Name Is Khan’ in spite of the fact that she is not size zero. Likewise, Vidya Balan is a big hit these days with versatile and unforgettable roles in films ‘Paa’ and ‘Parineeta’ and the more recent ‘Ishqiya’. Though this film did not work at the box office, Vidya recieved critical acclaim and loads of ogling for looking so hot, even with her non-size zero figure. Likewise, Priety Zinta is also confident about her choice and says, “I like my plump cheeks. I do not want to look malnourished.”

It’s about time our fitness-junkies follow and promote a healthy lifestyle rather than an unrealistic size-zero attitudes.

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