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How Exposure Can Change Perceptions of Desirability

Posted by bwmm on October 14, 2009

Shahrukh Khan


Shahrukh and Kajol starring in

Have you ever seen a movie from another country and it ruined you on Hollywood films or a Hollywood film in particular. Take for instance the thief of baghdad. I loved that movie as a child even a teen and even in my early 20’s around 19/20 ish. That is until I watched my very first Bollywood musical(s) and other Indian cinema as wel as movies from Turkey, Macedonia and countless movies from around the world and all of that flew out the window. Now I can’t even look at it. Now I know Bagdhad is in another country now Iran, but anyway you get my point. I just find it hard to believe that the people in the movie represent Indians or Arabians. It’s like when you watch a movie that is about martial arts pre Bruce Lee in America and then watch Hong Kong cinema and you are like yeah the hell

As I mentioned above about Bollywood turning me off of Thief of Baghdad this goes for seeing someone romantically, but instead of turning you off it turns you on (get your mind out the gutta yau’ What I mean is that when you see a woman or a man in a romantic role (that is good or that the person has chemistry, stage presence to pull you in which I do feel most Hollywood stars are lacking these days) you see that person as desirable.

Case in point My first actual Bollywood film was an SRK movie that played on TCM that I stayed up from 12:ooam to 4:am to watch which was Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge. Great movie one of my favorites by the way. Anyway in the beginning I didn’t see him as hot, but it was just something about him that made me kind of fall fall for him. Not to mention it was just a cute movie and ooh a fight scene at the end where he fights for his girl Kajol (whom I love). But that is when I realized especially with Kajol is that I saw Indians in a different light (we don’t really see most on American movies and TV especially then 01/02 etc. and the ones who did were usually sterotypical roles.) It wasn’t until I saw a film made by Indians for Indians that it really hit me. What really made me fall in love with SRK was Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham another one of my favorites. That movie really did it for me and I was hooked on Bollywood. They have a standard of beauty that can parallel Hollywood (sad to say especially some of these new films, plus there are other Indian cinema that are un Bollywood, Kollywood etc. like regional cinemal, but in a way too it also made me appreciate the beauty of Indians whatever shade. Seriously that the dark skinned warrior in the war scene of Ashoka with the long hair and the symbol on his head was hot as hell!!!!!!

I went Bollywood crazy and loved (premier on bollywood for those not in the know) and before I’d ever seen one, but had heard about them. I discovered that my local library had many Bollywood movies like Anand. I had seen Amitabh Bachan in K3G and thought wow what a good looking older man and he’s like 60. I wanted to watch more movies, because I knew he was a big star and had many films under his belt. Anyways watched Anand and that was it I was in love with Amitabh

The reason I also think this made the impression it did is because Bollywood films can show some romance in movies you wouldn’t believe (now some can be cheesy, but you feel more than you do with some Hollywood movies)Hollywood romcoms or romantic movies at times get remade (illegally sometimes), but to me it’s sad when a film industry with a 3rd of the budget of a big Hollywood movie can remake a film from Hollywood and make it better, and more romantic than most of the films that are made here today. Seriously think about it. the old studio system to about the 60’s 70’s and maybe even 80’s when you had romance or any kind of drama you felt the people now it’s just like okay. You might not know what you’re missing, but you know you’re missing it. Then you watch a Bollywood remake of the same movie and it’s like oh yeah the romance and the

Another example I am going to use is Nollywood. Nollywood has actresses (huge stars) such as Genevieve Nnaji, Stephanie Okereke (made her own movie where she was the love interest of a WM, because she can being that it was her movie)Regina Askia and many others who are big I mean huge stars in Nigeria and many parts of Africa. Many of these stars are known outside of Africa and are seen as beautiful and desirable because of the parts they play. The movies are not always the best movies or have the best roles for women, but watching them makes you really appreciate the stars and actresses who haven’t reached star level yet especially the finominal ones this goes for actors as well. This also goes for Gollywood too. had a discussion on how there is a lack of black cheerleaders. This can also go for pageants, movie roles etc. were black women are seen as desirable. There were many ideas from income to black women just not being interested. There was a comment that really sang out to me by Sangraneth

“By not even attempting to increase black female representation in “feminine” or attractive, desirable roles such as cheerleading, black women are giving up the chance to REPRESENT themselves as attractive and desirable.

Simply put, if bw aren’t even willing to portray themselves as feminine and attractive, how can they complain if the media and society does not see them as feminine and attractive?”

And that’s my point of the post. Images where men/women are seen as desirable can change someones perspective. I have a hard time watching a movie like the Thief of Bagdad, because I want to see the people that would have really been in the story. Not some American Hollywood ideal of beauty. I also think that these films made Americans and others see actresses like Kajol, Ash and many other actresses and actors as desirable. We need to start making movies, tv shows whatever were we are seen as desirable. We are always upset that we are seen as undesirable or not shown in a positive light, but like Sangraneth said if we don’t do the work that we need to do to change people’s perspectives then how can we complain?


One Response to “How Exposure Can Change Perceptions of Desirability”

  1. Anonymous said

    The Indians know how to make their movies. We also have many other fledgling industries like Nollywood, Pollywood, Pakistan has Lollywood. I think WOW! They have no idea how grateful they should be.

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