At the merest mention of Belarus most of you would perplexedly think of a former Soviet republic cowering under the shadow of dour council flats and slate grey-skies. But hear this: International Women’s Day is an official holiday, and gender equality is taken seriously; it’s not just a glib shibboleth. In Minsk, the capital, thousands took part in a ‘beauty run’ in fabulous costumes—a gesture of confident womanhood.
Does an outfit seemingly inspired by Henry VIII’s wardrobe, albeit gorgeously stitched, not militate against the figure-hugging norms of the fashion world? But Freida Pinto doesn’t care as much, now that she’s nearly an old hand in Hollywood. She poses here with actress Leela Ladnier for the premiere of Mira, Royal Detective, a mystery adventure series for the young inspired by Indian culture, for which they lent their voices.
A nasty virus maybe doing the rounds, making people scuttle back to their holes, but Holi is for flouting norms, our shudh desi bacchanalia. At the colour-splattered Holi bash held by Isha Ambani in Mumbai, you’d have to be the driest of hypochondriacs to miss it. Priyanka flew in with Nick Jonas to give the latter a first taste of gulal. Katrina was at hand to share his surprised joy. And you thought the rival actresses try not to share the same frame!
She has been a most cherished inhabitant of this page and thus we note with the utmost stupefaction that assorted dafooses bodyshame the irreproachably lovely Shruti Haasan for being ‘skinny’ or taking recourse to plastic surgery. A defiant response was received through text (read it elsewhere) and photo (you got it!). Our one question: Would you chav girls (and boys) ever match her? Answer honestly.
The reason why pretty teenagers hung about in LA drugstores in attractive winterwear in the ’40s was because Lana Turner (1920-95) was discovered thus in 1937. ‘The sweater girl’, screamed the film press at MGM’s prodding. For Turner, that early effervescence curdled into sinuous imperiousness soon enough—her pose, those immaculately arched eyebrows and that large-eyed expression and a measured smile spelt a consciously radiant beauty. Early films included They Won’t Forget Me (‘37) and Four’s a Crowd (‘38), followed by the tepidly successful Ziegfeld Girl (‘41), Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (‘41) and Honky Tonk (‘41). A modestly talented actress, she’s burnt into public memory as the murderous, adulterous Cora in The Postman Always Rings Twice (‘46): that rolling lipstick, the white turban, abbreviated blouse and white shorts...John Garfield couldn’t just resist the ghastly deed. Turner was then cast in simple costume dramas like The Merry Widow (‘52); a meatier role was in The Bad and the Beautiful (‘52) and she was a mother with an illegitimate child in Peyton Place (‘57). In 1958 her daughter Cheryl accidentally killed her mobster lover, and Hollywood rushed in with another role of a shabby-genteel beauty in Imitaton of Life (‘59), her last great success. She declined swiftly after this. Later movies like By Love Possessed (‘61) and Madame X (‘65) paid homage to a classic Hollywood figure, but couldn’t revive her fortunes.