Was Vanity Fair To Freida Pinto?
Let me just start by saying how very pissed I am that Freida Pinto looks like a fifties pin-up model on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine. Let me correct that. A white, fifties pin-up model.
No matter what one thinks of Slumdog Millionaire, we can all agree on one thing: little La Pinto is a darling. She has beautiful kohl-lined brown eyes and a slender figure. And have you seen the legs on that woman? Now when the ample award nominations have inspired movie theaters to start showing the film again, fresh trailers appear with Rahman's upbeat score, the screen lit up with her smile. At the Golden Globes she wore a golden gown. How cute is that? At the Baftas she dazzled even more and the list of best-dressed included her name.
I waited through a string of commercials just because Access Hollywood mentioned Freida Pinto before they cut to the advertisements. They called her "the new star" and even discussed her couture for a total of 7 seconds (yeah, I was counting). Indians might find Freida Pinto a little skinny for their taste. I can already see the South-Indian film industry demanding that she wear a push-up bra before she ever decides to act again. But America seems reluctantly smitten with this debutante. I admit, it makes me happy to see a familiar brown face on the mostly color-blind American television. The only brown I get to feast my eyes on is Fareed Zakaria's and Asif Mandvi's. Anoop Desai was voted off Idol this season and so I am back to taking naps in place of evening television on the respective days.
The last time I saw desis on Access Hollywood was when during an interview with George Clooney, the "Water" team consisting of a saree clad Deepa Mehta walked the red carpet unnoticed a safe distance away from the camera's focus. I was momentarily excited by the sight of a saree on American television. This why Freida Pinto's 7-second appearance on AH made me a happy in an odd sort of way.
So now you can understand why I was miffed when I heard online rumors that Vanity Fair might have whitened La Pinto when putting her on their cover. I took a look at the said picture and whoah! She is as pale as Conan O'Brien. Her magnificent cheekbones have been flattened and the brown in her eyes no longer visible. She is wearing a red, bra-like top and what looks dangerously like a yellow slimming underwear. Her legs still look gorgeous but the glow that was so apparent on her brown face has been replaced by a white-out effect. So lets review what this means for those of us who felt a certain childish pride in watching an Indian person's face flash on American TVs. Her name is not suggestive of her heritage and now that she appears almost white, there is practically no way to tell if Pinto is from India or Sweden. I suddenly realized that the prophecy of this happening was clearly etched out in the name of the magazine itself. With a name like Vanity Fair, what were we expecting, inner beauty with brown skin? That would be such an oxymoron.
Through Access Hollywood, Vanity Fair clarified that the "whitening out" rumors were absolutely untrue and it was just "lighting". Well, in that case other magazines should take swift notes. Apparently, there is a quick tip Vanity Fair has to offer that may save them several touch-ups. You don't need to Photoshop or air-brush pictures to make dark people more appealing in America. You can just take care of it with a little bit of lighting.
Was Vanity Fair To Freida Pinto?
- » Published on February 20, 2009
- » Type: Opinion
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