We saw Kabir Singh over the weekend and while I had issues with the film; I enjoyed it.
I had known of Kiara Advani (the lead actress playing a demure Punjabi girl) but I had just assumed she was another Sindhi (Brahmin) girl.
I was surprised to look at her profile and see that she’s half Muslim but that the Muslim half is mixed in with some European.
So essentially like the Kapoor sisters; Alia Bhatt (Vidhi was telling me that she’s Muslim because her nana is Razdan loll) and now Kiara, there is a trend of starlets having a hidden European maternal grandmother (lets not even start with Katrina Kaif).
They have the Indian surname, upbringing and Hindi but also get that “look enhancement” from the European infusion. I’m using that controversial term because that is the Indian beauty standards; sharp features with a fair skin and dark hair/eyes.
Pakistan girls will usually push the envelope and lighten their hair, if they can pull it off. Though I find the Pakistani aesthetic standard to be sometimes a bit too fake for my own tastes.
Intriguingly enough this aesthetic appeal was probably fixed during the Mughal-Muslim period since its not a European ideal. It also doesn’t feel that pre-Muslim India’s aesthetic ideal was similar but then in the Indian Numismatics podcast I was told India’s only imports were wine & (fair) women..
The irony is that the Western perception of Desi beauty is more along the lines of Freida Pinto; softer features with duskier skin.
Happy birthday to Hollywood’s most fabulous Brown Star; Mindy Kaling. She’s an amazing role model on so many levels and as I tell all my +35 single Desi female friends, just go to the sperm bank and get a tall Dane to be your baby-daddy.
Of course my own hypocrisy knows no bounds since my social media coup; I’ve erased all the previous Brown symbols (Kal Penn / Mergagh Man) and replaced it with Kiara Advani, Mughal Princesses & the Hum Safar cast(e).