Desi shows, foreign faces

Desi shows, foreign faces

Gone are the days when one would find names like Indrani Dasgupta, Milind Soman, Ujjwala Raut, Carol Gracias setting the ramp on fire. Now, these names are nowhere to be seen and unknown faces have taken their places.

Models from all over the world have captured not only the modelling scene in India but also movies, television commercials, music videos and even swimsuit calendars. International models and actors are increasingly swamping the Indian glamour industry as the country opens up and integrates with the world.

The latest craze for casting foreign actors in Bollywood films can be seen in almost every dance sequence these days and it shows that the demand for foreign models is here to stay. Indeed, suddenly Bollywood has become irresistible for foreign actors as a new generation of Indian filmmakers have started casting foreigners in everything from minor roles to major supporting parts and even lead roles.

Arpita Das, co-owner of Aura Coordination and Production Pvt Ltd, a modelling agency, shares her views on this latest trend. “These foreign models are very professional than Indian models. They are more energetic and pick up things faster than their Indian counterparts. On the other hand, Indian models throw more tantrums and are less professional.”

One of the major reasons for the increasing number of foreign models is the lesser money they demand. Prashant Avasthi, owner of The Big Daddy Productions seconds Arpita on this matter. “First of all foreign models are very professional than Indian ones and second, they are eye-candies. Also we Indians have the tendency to love white-skinned people. You don’t have to pay much to hire a foreign face.”

Many Indian brands now have global aspirations and have realised that to compete with global brands, they need an international look, for which using international models has become imperative. “But even if many local brands do not have international aspirations, they still use international models just to establish the fact that such brands meet international norms and quality. Clothing and apparel makers, auto companies, the fashion sector, and even music-producing companies hire foreign models,” adds Prashant.

But, one major factor which is neglected in this matter is that these models often end up working on tourist visas and there is no one to question them. Kabir Singh, one of the top models in India, says, “There’s no one to see this. There are numerous models working in India on tourist visas. But, this is actually affecting Indian models. On one hand, these foreigners are taking up the ads and also eating into our market. Our obsession with the white skin and their ‘not-so-shy’ nature is increasingly making them popular among the masses.”

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