Madhuri Dixit had to apologize when she danced to the tunes of 'Choli ke piche' in 1993, while Karisma Kapoor followed the suite in the year 1994 when she shot for the song, 'sexy sexy sexy'. It’s been 26 years, almost two and a half decades later, and we are still stuck with the same sense of useless pride. While the actresses in the 90s were made to publically apologise for the creative representation on the celluloid, the trollers in 2019 seemed to have taken up the responsibility of sharing the load of cultural appropriation.
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Fashion is such an important part of global culture, often arising from centuries of tradition, and doesn’t go out of style when the seasons change. The ‘Saree’ is one of the most iconic and recognized silhouettes from India. To me, its beauty lies in its versatility, not just in drape and fabric. It embodies elegance, femininity, and power, and I love how I feel when I’m wearing one. I’m so proud to be wearing a @Taruntahiliani saree on @instylemagazine’s July cover! Thank you @laurabrown99 for being such an amazing creative partner, and for sharing some of India’s incredible fashion with the world. #IndianSummer #ProudDesi (Link to the story in bio)
Case in point here is Priyanka Chopra’s recent photo shoot with a leading fashion magazine. What really earned her the wrath of our online sanskaaris was her decision to pose in a golden saree from the fashion label of Tarun Tahiliani, minus a blouse. Yes, you read that right, a saree minus the blouse and it was perhaps her biggest cultural misunderstanding since the trollers were left not just unhappy but also fuming for not wearing our traditional weave, the nine yards wonder, the way it is “supposed” to be worn.
As soon as she posted the image, haters started commenting on her, with many giving her serious gyaan over sanskaar and our culture. "Fashion nowadays is all about how much you can show your body instead of focusing on cloth," wrote one user. One user called her 'shameless and ugly' and another one wrote, "she is trying to reach the same level of vulgarity as Hollywood, just to fit in there".
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What really is hard to digest is the fact that we are the second most populated country in the world, with over 65 percent of the population below 35 years, fairly making us the youngest in the world, and yet we are sadly stuck with the decades-old colonial era, refusing to grow up.
The very designer whose wonderful creation accompanied Priyanka Chopra on the said cover came out in support of our beloved PeeCee. In a recent interview with Mid-Day, the designer, Tarun Tahiliani was quoted as saying, ”There’s nothing vulgar about it. In fact, not using a choli makes it a global statement. The transition from alluring Indian beauty (in Priyanka’s last Bollywood outing, Bajirao Mastani) to this modern goddess for a mainstream fashion cover only speaks of her (Priyanka) versatility. She is truly a modern Indian icon.”
Amidst all this controversy, what truly won our heart was the way Priyanka Chopra Jonas decided to tackle the ongoing storm. The 'silent treatment' was meted out to the sanskari brigade and all the ho-halla over being unIndian or less of an Indian was simply put on the back-burner. Now that's what a role model is supposed to be doing, hail the positives and sideline the negatives. The lady has, by now, mastered the art of ignoring what truly needs to be ignored. Priyanka is a favourite for all the right reasons.
Here's a piece of advice to all those trollers who think that the nation's cultural integrity is at risk, better luck next time!